Zambezi Airlines Grounded

by Daniel Tonga
(7th November 2011)

Zambia’s aviation industry is in its worst tailspin after the country’s only airline, Zambezi airlines was grounded to a halt on deteriorating safety standards and erratic flight schedules.

The airline which has been operating locally is also battling to settle its huge debt amounting to US $20 million it owes to creditors both public and private institutions in the country.

The Zambian authorities has since suspended its operating license and is yet to constitute a tribunal to gather more facts on the airline’s problems before deciding to lift the suspension.

“The operating license was suspended due to the airlines failure to run schedules as approved by aeronautics authorities in Zambia,” said Kenneth Silavwe Director for civil aviation.

The airline also owes Air Zimababwe about US $ 950,000 in arrears which at one time also suffered a setback after Zambezi Airline withdrew a plane it had hired from it.

Aviation Industry Analysts said airlines have been operating under harsh conditions in Zambia which affected the country’s potential for investment and this continued to signal aviation business as less profitable.

Zambia has no national airline of its own and mostly depends on international airlines for access to international destinations and other parts of the world.

The country is one of the most preferred international destinations and a major connection point of international airlines like British Airways, South African airways and Kenya Airways.

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