Why Ethiopian Airlines wants Zambia to become the next travel & tourism hotspot in Africa?


A new major investment and cooperation between Star Alliance Carrier Ethiopian Airlines and Zambia Airways may change the way Aviation in Africa will develop. Ths agreement has the potential for Zambia to become the new travel and tourism and transportation hotspot on the African continent.

Today both companies issued a joined statement. This statement reads

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We, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Mr. Mateyo C. Kaluba, and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, held a signing ceremony on 19th August 2018 in Lusaka to mark our agreement as Shareholders of Zambia Airways.

As strategic equity partners on the national airline project of Zambia, IDC will hold 55% equity in the carrier, with Ethiopian Airlines holding 45%. The initial investment as we start-up the national carrier will be US$30 million. Obviously, as we operate the airline, we will facilitate the financing necessary to support its growth. It is expected that the new airline will operate 12 aircraft and carry over 1.9 million passengers by 2028.

As Shareholders, we have a clear sense of the direction we need to take in order to ensure the fortunes and secure growth of the national airline. We will instill a performance-driven culture through strong corporate governance structures and make Zambia Airways commercially viable.

Zambia Airways will launch local and regional routes while the intercontinental routes including Europe, the Middle East, and Asian will be added in the near future.

For Ethiopian Airlines this investment is consistent with our Vision 2025 Multiple Hubs Strategy in Africa. As an indigenous and truly Pan-African airline, we believe that African carriers will only get their fair share of the aviation industry and the African market through partnerships with other African carriers.

For IDC this investment represents our commitment to deepening and strengthening Zambia’s industrialization. The establishment of the national airline will spur growth in the tourism sector and will have a significant multiplier effect on job creation through the different businesses in the aviation supply chain such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, publisher, and others.

With the Zambian Government’s drive to build transportation infrastructure from the new airports, good road networks, and now the airline, we are confident that Zambia is destined to become Southern Africa’s regional aviation and logistics hub.

We look forward to growing this partnership from strength to strength and seeing Zambia Airways take to the skies this year.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.