Improve aviation system to attract more airlines – Tourism Council of Zambia

Ethiopian Airlines
AS ZAMBIA embarks on massive expansion of its airports, the Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) has advised Government to come up with a policy that will improve the aviation system to attract more airlines into the country.

President Sata yesterday laid a foundation stone for the expansion of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) in Lusaka.
TCZ president Felix Mulenga said it is imperative that more airlines operate in Zambia as Government upgrades airports to match with the standards of others in the region.
Mr Mulenga said this in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“There is need for Government to come up with an air transport policy to introduce more airlines. There is no use of upgrading our airports when we don’t have adequate airlines operating in the country,” he said.
He said this will not only boost employment opportunities but also contribute to the country’s treasury.
Mr Mulenga also emphasised the need for Government to re-establish a national airline to help boost Zambia’s tourism.
He said once the country has an airline, the average number of days being spent in Zambia by tourists will also increase.
He also said Government can consider promoting one of the local airlines to operate as national airline.
He urged stakeholders to complement Government’s efforts by coming up with a public-private-driven national airline, as Government might not single-handedly have the capacity to operate it considering the number of projects it is undertaking.
“It is important to have an airline and this can also be done through a public-private partnership other than Government doing [managing] it alone. It may not have the capacity to manage the airline,” he said.
Mr Mulenga expressed happiness on the progress made to rehabilitate the KKIA and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport.
He said it is good that a contractor has already been identified to start the rehabilitation work.
Mr Mulenga is optimistic that Government will speed up the process of upgrading the airport, but indicated that this may depend on the availability of funds to proceed with the project.
“We are happy with the pace at which the project is being implemented and that the President has laid the foundation for the construction of the airport, at least something is being done,” he said.
Government has embarked on a programme to upgrade airports and airstrips, including improving the infrastructure at all the international airports.  The programme includes the runways, terminals and auxiliary facilities in and around the airports such as hotels, shopping malls, conference facilities among others.