National airline still on cards – Mukanga

GOVERNMENT will soon determine whether it will need an equity partner to set up a national flag carrier, Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Yamfwa Mukanga has said.
Mr Mukanga said Government is still assessing whether the  national flag carrier will be established in partnership with the private sector under the public private partnership or solely owned by the State.
He said in an interview on Saturday that Government will ensure that a national airline is established soon to boost tourism.
He said the proposal is still under-going assessment before subsequent approval.
He expressed optimism that Cabinet will approve the proposal, which will pave way for the re-establishment of the national airline.
The minister said the national airline is necessary to provide reliable transport in view of the suspension of Dutch airline, KLM and British Airways flights into Zambia last year and the previous year, respectively.
“The suspension of the two airlines is sad but, an eye-opener that we cannot depend on foreign airlines, hence the need to invest in our own airline,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mukanga said the upgrade of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport is expected to be completed next year as planned.
China Jiangxi International has been engaged to upgrade the US$360-million airport, which will contain a new two-story terminal building, 22 check-in counters, 12 border channels and six security check counters, a terminal for the president, ministers and VIP guests.

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