An aviation expert, Captain Charles Musenge has advised governnment that now is not the time to relaunch the national airline owing to the coronavirus pandemic negative Impact on the aviation industry among other factors.
Captain Musenge said as a result of the pandemic, many airlines such as South African Airways and Namibian Airline are being placed under liquidation while European and American airlines have faced similar closures or their governments having to bail them out using billion of dollars to remain in the sky.
Among others, the Air Namibia management announced this week that the airline will cease operations, leaving over 600 employees without jobs following a cabinet decision to file for voluntary liquidation.
During a Hot FM radio program on Thursday, Transport and Communication Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya condemned former Minister of Finance and now Movement for Democratic Change President Felix Mutati’s criticism of the yet to be launched airline which he described as a flamboyant project.
Mr Kafwaya also justified that the national airline to be relaunched will not be run by governnment but individual companies in Ethiopian Airline and the Industrial Development Cooperation IDC.
But Captain Musenge who is also MDC Matero Constituency aspiring Member of Parliament with 30 years experience in aviation said this is not the time for Zambia with it’s struggling economy to launch the national airline with or without Ethiopian Airline.
Captain Musenge said the alliance between the governnment and Ethiopian Airline will not serve Zambia well as the country is heavily indebted.
He also said governnment has no capital for such a venture as running a national airline at the moment and as such, full consideration of the airline will only be made when the right time is in place along with the right leadership that will utilize existing aviation expertise.
“This is not the time for Zambia to launch the national airline with or without Ethiopian Airline. The Zambia – Ethiopian Airline alliance will not serve Zambia well. Zambia is heavily in debt and has no capital for such a venture” Captain Musenge said.
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