Thursday, December 13, 2012

■ ZAMBIA: Ethiopian outlines its fleet plans for new Zambian subsidiary, set to launch in late 2013.

Ethiopian Airlines' (ET) CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has outlined the carrier's planned start-up in Zambia, set to begin ops in late 2013. At first glance, the airline's fleet will bare strong similarities to the carrier's West African subsidiary, ASKY Airlines (KP), in which Ethiopian Airlines currently has a 40% shareholding.

ASKY Airlines Q400
ASKY Airlines Q400 (ASKY)
Talking to online aviation magazine, Air Transport World, Gebremariam spoke definitively (as opposed to speculatively) about the development:
The new carrier will operate [Bombardier] Dash 8 Q400s and several [Boeing] 737s. We have to clarify the demand of aircraft; operations should start from one year’s time.” He said running an airline in Africa is challenging because “African carriers have only a 20% market share.
Source [ATW]

No further details have yet been divulged about the project. 

The need for a reliable national carrier in time for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) AGM, to be co-hosted with Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls next year, has become far more urgent as the country's sole regional operator, Zambezi Airlines (ZJ) was recently forced to suspend operations citing "liquidity problems."