In­tro­duc­tion of Ma­hogany Air con­trib­utes 23% to Growth of Do­mes­tic Flights in Q3:2017

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

MA­HOGANY AIR with its ag­gres­sive and am­bi­tious goal to pro­mote do­mes­tic air travel con­trib­uted 2,418 pas­sen­gers or 23% to the to­tal do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger traf­fic growth in Q3: 2017. This was con­firmed by Zam­bia Air­ports Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited - ZACL Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Brand Man­ager Ms. Mweembe Sikaulu. She at­trib­uted the growth in pas­sen­gers to the re­duced fares, which she said if con­tin­ued are ex­pected to fur­ther spur growth in do­mes­tic traf­fic as ZACL projects to see more un-flown pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing by air.

This growth mostly at­trib­uted to Ma­hogany Air flights has also seen Ndola's Si­mon Mwansa Kap­wepwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port - SMKIA record the strong­est Quar­ter on Quar­ter –(QoQ) growth. Ms. Sikaulu stated in re­sponse to a press query from Zam­bia Busi­ness Times that the 27% growth in do­mes­tic traf­fic at SMKIA was mainly at­trib­uted to the re­sump­tion of op­er­a­tions by Ma­hogany Air which has re-in­tro­duced the Lusaka-Ndola route as well as in­tro­duc­tion of Kasama and Sol­wezi route by Proflight. She said that the con­tin­ued in­creased ac­tiv­i­ties in the mines on the Cop­per­belt and North Western are also a con­tribut­ing fac­tor. Zam­bia is in the process of up­grad­ing its two in­ter­na­tional air­ports for a com­bined cost of $USD800mil­lion which should put the land linked na­tion in con­tention for re­gional hub sta­tus.

The Q3: 2017 re­port how­ever showed re­duced cargo freight (QoQ) at­trib­uted to rel­a­tively higher freight charges. Sikaulu told ZBT that freight charges such as the cost of car­riage of freight are rel­a­tively higher in Zam­bia than in for in­stance South Africa or Kenya due to our rel­a­tively higher landed cost of JetA1 fuel due to the in­land dis­tance.

The other coun­tries that are al­ter­na­tive land­ing air­ports in the re­gion en­joy lower cost of JetA1 due to their prox­im­ity to ports and that they can pass on the sav­ings on fuel to cargo air­lines. A fur­ther im­ped­i­ment that is spe­cific to Zam­bia are the low vol­umes of cargo car­ried in and out of Zam­bia, re­duc­ing the economies of scale and in­creas­ing the cost of freight.

Zam­bia has in­vested heav­ily in air travel and air freight fa­cil­i­ties with a world class air­port com­pleted and com­mis­sion such as Liv­ing­stone’s Harry Mwaanga Nkum­bula at an in­vest­ment cost of US$40mil­lion. Lusaka’s Ken­neth Kaunda In­ter­na­tional Air­port has reached an ad­vanced stage of con­struc­tion as a cost of about US$350 mil­lion while the Green­field cost of about US$400 Cop­per­belt’s new Si­mon Mwansa Kap­wepwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port con­struc­tion started in 2017.

The Min­istry of Trans­port has an­nounced that Zam­bian Air­ways will be op­er­a­tional by Oc­to­ber 2018 in part­ner­ship with Ethiopian Air­lines in a Joint Ven­ture which the Zam­bian gov­ern­ment has 55% stake and the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment will take up 45% stake with the ini­tial in­vest­ment pegged at US $30 mil­lion. There is there­fore need to en­sure that the two ma­jor lo­cal air­lines, Ma­hogany and Proflight are en­gaged to en­sure their con­tin­ued sur­vival and growth as an al­ter­na­tive pri­vate sec­tor.

The Min­istry of Trans­port will also need to spear­head the for­mu­la­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of req­ui­site leg­is­la­tion and busi­ness poli­cies that will ad­dress the landed cost of Jet fuel as well as en­sure co­or­di­na­tion in air­port taxes, lo­gis­tics and other aux­il­iary busi­ness sup­port sys­tems to lever­age the cu­mu­la­tive of over USD 1 bil­lion air trans­port in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment that has been made even across the up­grade of re­gional and provin­cial air­ports. Zam­bia is cen­trally lo­cated and has all the geo­graph­i­cal and hu­man cap­i­tal needed to be­come a trans­port hub.

Ma­hogany’s Em­braer at Lusaka’s Ken­neth Kaunda In­ter­na­tional Air­port

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