Ethiopian Airlines has signed an agreement with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), part of the Zambian government, to put up capital to revive the former Zambia Airways.
The carrier was established in 1964 and operated flights to London, Frankfurt, Rome and Amsterdam, as well as regional destinations. It ran into financial troubles and was liquidated in 1995. It has no relation to Zambian Airways, which also ceased operations in 2009.
Ethiopian will hold a 45 per cent stake in the revived Zambia Airways, while IDC will hold the remaining 55 per cent. The initial investment represents US£30 million, with both stakeholders agreeing to ‘facilitate’ the necessary financing to support the carrier’s growth.
IDC and Ethiopian expect Zambia Airways to carry 1.9 million passengers and operate 12 aircraft by 2028.
The airline will initially launch local and regional routes in early 2019, with international destinations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia to follow as it grows.
Ethiopian Airlines says it believes the only way African carriers will “get their fair share of the aviation industry and African market” is “through partnerships with other African carriers.”
The agreement was signed earlier this week by Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, and Mateyo C Kaluba, CEO of IDC.