Zambian Airways fliegt nicht mehr nach Mfuwe und seltener nach Livingstone

von Marco Penzel

„MEDIA RELEASE. 12 October 2008.Zambian Airways has adopted two key words as it faces the challenges of the current global aviation scenario. These two words are “rationalization” and “consolidation” - and the good news is that new investors and existing shareholders have accepted the Zambian Airways approach to the challenge. Our bankers and shareholders have recently joined forces to provide support to Zambian Airways at this time by strengthening our balance sheet.The current fuel prices in Zambia, which have continued to go up when the global trend is headed down, are unrealistic. In June 2008 the price of Jet A1 increased by a massive 50% in Zambia. Since that date, the global price of fuel has decreased by as much as 40% and yet our suppliers of aviation fuel in Zambia reacted to the global decline by adding a further increase to the cost of aviation fuel. Petrol and diesel prices have recently dropped in Zambia, but not the cost of aviation fuel. The current price of aviation fuel in Zambia is almost 100% higher when compared to other countries in the region such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.Mutembo Nchito, CEO of Zambian Airways, said that it is out of the question to increase air fares by these percentages and, as a result, the airline is constantly reviewing all opportunities to cut costs. One result of this process will be the airline’s suspension of operations on the domestic route between Lusaka and Mfuwe in order to concentrate efforts on profitable routes. The last flights to and from Mfuwe will be on Saturday 25 October 2008. All passengers with valid tickets after this date will be given a full refund on air fares and taxes.Whilst Mfuwe is a key airport for the tourism industry in Zambia, it is also one airport that has constant fuel shortages and this has resulted in Zambian Airways being forced on numerous flights to carry fewer passengers to Mfuwe to compensate for greater fuel uplifts from Lusaka.Flights on all other Zambian Airways domestic routes will be maintained, but some schedules will be changed in order to better suit customer requirements.The Boeing 737 regional services will also see some rationalization with the reduction of frequencies on some routes. There will be no change to the Lusaka/Johannesburg route. Flights between Johannesburg and Livingstone will be reduced from daily flights to 5 per week effective Sunday 26 October. The two days to be cancelled are Tuesday and Thursday. However, if demand on these two days in late October and November is sufficient, Zambian Airways will still operate on these days as supplementary services. Mr Nchito expressed his confidence that the rationalization and consolidation exercise would enable Zambian Airways to continue contributing to the growth of aviation in Zambia and the region during these very difficult economic times for the global aviation industry. He further said that these steps would protect Zambian Airways two most important assets – our staff and our passengers.”

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