France has pledged to assist Zambia in setting up its proposed new national carrier – Zambia Airways (Lusaka) – using Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) as a conduit.
During Zambian president Edgar Lungu’s three day state visit to France last week, French president Francois Hollande reportedly pledged to use the European aircraft manufacturer to “help train Zambian pilots, provide technical support and supply aircraft for the new airline.”
Hollande went on to add that once Lusaka has signalled its readiness to proceed with Zambia Airways 2.0, Paris would dispatch advisers accordingly.
Timelines for the Zambian government’s latest foray into the airline business sector are currently clouded given Lungu’s announcement last year that budget constraints had rendered the project unfeasible at present time. The national fiscus is currently in the midst of an austerity programme brought on by low copper prices as well as a growing drought which has affected agriculture as well as hydroelectric power generation.