By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
Government has prodded the private sector to take advantage of infrastructure development currently going on in the aviation industry and establish a local airline.
The Government said there was need for the private sector to invest in air transport business to ensure the reduction of airfares.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said Zambians should take advantage and rise to the ocassion if the establishment of a local airline was to be realised.
Mr Mukanga said this at Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport during the launch of Mahogany AirLine Zambia.
“Government has placed infrastructure development in the aviation sector as priority to further give an enabling environment to investors in the industry. I therefore wish to challenge investors particularly Zambians to take keen interest to invest in the industry in order to lower the cost of air fares,” Mr Mukanga said.
Mahogany’s major destinations staring March 1,2014 will be Solwezi in North-Western Province, Chipata in Eastern Province as well as Mfuwe, which is expected to encourage tourism in these areas.
At the same function Mahogany Air chief executive officer Jim Belemu said the airline had come to the domestic market because of the favourable business environment the Government has created.
“We have come on to the market believing that the domestic market is increasing due to the business developments taking place in the country’s provinces,” Dr Belemu said.
The company spent over K8 million to establish the airline and the cost was expected to go up as the operations commence.
Dr Belumu said the company had already employed more than 30 skilled workers who were all Zambians.