Thursday, October 25, 2012

■ ZAMBIA: Ethiopia and Zambia close to signing BASA that will transform Lusaka into an Ethiopian Airlines hub.

As an addendum to our post on Friday regarding Zambia's ongoing aviation infrastructural improvement programme and its government's plans to form a new national carrier, Zambia's Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today announced the signing of a "number of economic, scientific and technical measures aimed at boosting existing bilateral relations" between the two countries.

According to the Ambassador, Francis Simenda, amongst the initiatives being finalized are an air service agreement set to transform Lusaka into a regional hub, mentioned previously in this post, here on The African Aviation Tribune:
"He said the agreements pave the way for the establishment of a Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation which in turn should form a solid basis for a number of initiatives that will benefit the two countries and the continent.
According to him, the two governments are also working on concluding an air service agreement which will make Zambia the Southern region hub for the Ethiopian Airlines. He said this is a major step towards the integration of Africa as this will culminate into a significant increase in traffic of people, goods and services between the Southern and Eastern regions."
Source [Ethiopian News Agency]

A proposed rendering for new Lusaka Airport
A rendering of a Lusaka International Airport concept proposal (Boogertman)
Presently, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has a similar, successful initiative up and running in West Africa; ASKY Airlines(KP) in which ET has a 40% stake, based in Lomé, Togo whose extensive West/Central African network acts as a feeder to Ethiopian's flights, and will presently become even more important with the eventual launch of Ethiopian's Sao Paulo, Brasil route.

Should the hub come on line, it will add further competition to the brimming southern African market, long dominated by major carriers such as South African Airways and Kenya Airways.