KELVIN CHONGO, Parliament
LUPOSOSHI Patriotic Front (PF) member of Parliament Bwalya Chungu has told Parliament that establishing a new national Airline is an expensive venture that must be
Mr Chungu said while the airline business is a good venture as it brings pride, and increases the number of tourists entering the country, it must be cautiously looked at.
“Running an airline is an expensive venture, we need to be very cautious before we can introduce a national airline,” he said.
He said before the airline business is re-introduced, there is need for consultations on best practises.
Mr Chungu said Zambia needs to look at the region and start a regional airline so that it can run the national airliner effectively.
He said when British Airways stopped flying into Zambia it looked like a joke but this was done because it was very costly for them to come to Zambia.
“Therefore, Government needs to look at this aspect because it looks good to have a national airline but there is need to move cautiously and ensure airline infrastructure is not only of international standard, but well looked after in the country.
“The move to rehabilitate Airport infrastructure at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Ndola Airport, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Harry Mwaanga international Airport in Livingstone is commendable”, he said.
Mr Chungu said this is the right way to go until Government is sure that it has done what is required as a country before running an Airline.
He also said there is need to ensure the new airline does not fall into the same trap as the defunct Zambia Airways.
And Mr Chungu told Parliament that tourist accommodation in Zambia is expensive hence tourists end up going to Zimbabwe.
“We need to carry out an investigation of the cost structure of accommodation in Zambia,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chungu said tourism is a very important sector that some countries even depend on to run their economies.
Mr Chungu said Zambia can as well benefit a lot from this particular sector.
He told Parliament that Zambians need to play a role to ensure the tourism sector grows to contribute to economic growth.