January 1, 1968, BAC 1-11-207 services are introduced by Zambia’s new flag carrier on regional routes to Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Mauritius. The four original Zambia Airways, Ltd. Douglas DC-3s continue to provide domestic services.
General Manager Francesco Casale, on loan under a management contract signed with Alitalia, S. p.A., provides leadership in support of the initiation of new international services. Employing a Douglas DC-843 leased from Alitalia, S. p.A., Lusaka to London flights are inaugurated in November via Nairobi and Rome. This one service doubles the length of the route network to 12,000 miles.
Airline employment at Chairman T. M. D. Mtine’s airline in 1969 is 854. Flights to Mauritius commence in November and enplanements for the year total 143,789.
The workforce grows 11% in 1970 to 960. Three owned Hawker Sid-deley HS 748s and a chartered DC-8-43 are delivered by Alitalia, the latter allowing start-up in February of the carrier’s first London service with owned aircraft.
Freight soars 52.8% and passenger boardings climb 22.39% to 185,271.
Simon C. Katilungu becomes chairman in 1971, while Roberto Tarantino rotates in as the new Italian general manager. A bilateral agreement is signed between Zambia and Botswana in February 1972, allowing ZAC to commence service to Gaborone. Two more HS-748s begin plying regional routes in 1973. The first Boeing Stratoliner, a B-707-343C, is delivered in 1974, while the subsidiary National Air Charters, S. A. is formed during the latter year.
Early in 1975, the company’s two BAC 1-11-207s are sold to Dan-Air, Ltd./Dan-Air Services, Ltd. and are turned over on March 29. Meanwhile, the Alitalia, S. p.A. management contract is replaced by one signed with Aer Lingus Irish Airlines, Ltd. A B-707-348B, leased from the Irish carrier, is delivered on March 24.
The Irish Stratoliner begins nonstop Lusaka to London roundtrips on April 1. The leased Alitalia, S. p.A. DC-8-43 is now returned.
A B-707-351C is purchased from the American carrier Northwest Airlines on June 30; simultaneously, an Aer Lingus B-737-248A is chartered.
An owned B-737-2M9A, ordered the previous summer, arrives in June 1976. With the addition of two more Irish Stratoliners earlier in the year, scheduled service is inaugurated in July from Lusaka to Frankfurt. No sooner has this important event occurred than a pilot strike in August grounds the company for most of the next four months. A Boeing crash-lands at Lusaka on May 14, 1977.
Routes are extended or improved throughout the remainder of the decade to a total of 12 domestic points as well as London, Frankfurt, Rome, Salisbury (Harare), Johannesburg, Lilongwe, and Nairobi.
Enplanements for 1981 total 276,700. The carrier is reorganized in April 1982, becoming a subsidiary of the government-owned Zambian Industrial and Mining Corporation (ZIMCO). Patrick Chisanga, director general of ZIMCO, becomes ZAC chairman. A contract is signed with Ethiopian Airlines, S. C. under which the older airline will manage the Zambian line’s technical and operations departments for the next three years.
A total of 251,110 passengers are flown.
A Boeing 737-2M9A is acquired in 1983. As the result of engine problems, an HS 748-2A with 4 crew and 42 passengers aborts its takeoff from Kasaba on July 4, but runs off the end of the runway and is damaged; there are no injuries reported.
Company pilots, of whom nearly 70% are now Zambian nationals, continue to employ for training the B-707 simulators of Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. and the B-737 simulators of Aer Lingus Irish Airlines, Ltd.
One of the Stratoliners is now grounded and cannibalized for spare parts. Another is employed as a freighter, while the other two offer regional services as well as weekly return flights to Rome.
Passenger traffic for the year drops to 235,400 passengers, all but 37,000 of which are carried on international services.
The employee population stands at 1,686 in 1984. Managing Director Oliver Chama is suddenly replaced at the beginning of July by Lawrence Bwalya who, like his predecessor, has no airline experience.
The carrier’s first wide-body, a DC-10-30, is delivered on July 31 and is named Nkwazi. A month later, it is placed in service on the Rome-Paris-London route, but not without difficulty. The British government had initially refused to allow the sharp increase in capacity the wide-body represented on the thrice-weekly Lusaka to London service. Consequently, one of the three flights is now terminated at Paris, a destination not previously visited.
In cooperation with Air India, Ltd., ZAC also starts weekly Strato-liner return service to Bombay via Mauritius and a B-737-2M9A route is launched to Lubumbashi.
On October 5, the government dismisses Civil Aviation Director Capt. Patrick Kawanu following a September incident in which he had closed Lusaka Airport for 45 minutes when he could not get a seat on a departing Zambia Airways Corporation flight.
Passenger boardings for the year grow 5.1% to 247,487 and cargo skyrockets 213.5% to 73.58 million FTKs.
The fleet in 1985 comprises 1 DC-10-30, 2 B-707-348Bs, 1 B-707-351C, 1 B-737-2M9A, and 2 HS 748s. An agreement is signed in February allowing Air India, Ltd. to code-share on Zambia Airways’ Bom-bay-Lusaka service. Frankfurt joins the European network and flights start to Jeddah.
In December, the two B-707-348Bs are transferred to a new subsidiary, National Air Charters, Ltd.
Passenger bookings grow 3.6% to 254,000 and freight is up a slight
0.38%. Revenues advance 57% to $34.8 million and expenses climb 44.2% to $34.8 million; losses are $132,000 (operating) and $4.81 million (net).
A January 1986 contract is signed with Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. authorizing the German flag carrier’s experts to conduct a comprehensive review of technical and operational departments. In September, Capt. Godfrey M. Mulundika is named managing director. Meanwhile, a weekly flight is started to Matsapa, Swaziland, via Gaborone. Operations continue apace in 1987.
On April 1, 1988, DC-10-30 roundtrip flights are initiated from Lusaka to New York via Monrovia. Two chartered Avions de Transport Regional ATR42-320s arrive in May and June, entering service in July and allowing the removal of an HS 748. A sales office is opened in
Tokyo during August and in October all three B-707-348B/-351Cs are put up for sale.
Enplanements for the 1,681-employee state carrier increase by 7.1% to 268,200 while freight skyrockets by 226.3% to 84.21 million FTKs.
In April 1989, a contract is formed with Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIA) under which the Asian carrier provides assistance in the areas of computerization, data processing, engineering, accounting, and flight operations. A DC-8-61 is leased from Nationair, Ltd. in May and is employed to double the Lusaka to New York service to twice weekly via Monrovia. In September, the airline initiates next-day cargo service from New York to all of its African destinations.
A second chartered DC-10-30 now arrives and in October, following return of the Canadian Douglas, weekly service from New York to Windhoek, Namibia, service is opened via Lusaka—the first ever from North America to Namibia; the return flight routes additionally via London from Zambia. In 1990, an order is placed for an MD-11. In December of that year, the airline becomes the second outside of the U. S. to place a B-757-23APF, leased from Ansett Worldwide Aviation, into service.
The workforce is increased to 2,130 in 1991 and the fleet now includes 2 ATR42-320s and 1 each B-737-2M9A, B-737-291A, B-757-23APF, and DC-10-30. Orders are outstanding for a McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
Following the outbreak of the Mideast war on January 17, together with higher fuel bills, avgas is no longer uplifted in Lusaka on international flights and service is suspended to Kitwe, Lubumbashi, Mansa, and Mongu. Managing Director Mulundika is succeeded by Luke Mbewe in February. Also early in the year, Lome, Togo, is substituted for Monrovia, Liberia, on the Lusaka to New York route. In March, a DC-8-71, configured with a 200-seat, 2-class interior, is acquired.
Despite the substitution of Lome, the New York service loses money; consequently, it is suspended in April.
Traffic figures are provided for the first six months of the year. Passenger boardings fall 37.2% to 80,000 and freight is off 42.6% to 39.87 million FTKs. It is reported in November that financial arrangements made to help acquire the MD-11 have been cancelled due to the company’s poor fiscal situation and, in fact, cost it $2 million.
In 1992, the fleet of Managing Director Mbewe’s 2,130-employee company includes 2 ATR42-300s, and 1 each B-737-2M9A, B-737-291A, DC-8-71, B-757-23APF, and DC-10-30. The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 order is outstanding.
In addition to domestic routes, the carrier undertakes scheduled international flights from Lusaka to Bombay, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Frankfurt, Gaborone, Harare, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, London, Nairobi, and Rome. Service to Lubumbashi is reinstated.
Statistics are reported for the first 8 months of the year and show passenger enplanements of 160,570 and FTKs of 11.76 million.
Airline employment declines 10.8% in 1993 to 1,900 and the B-757-23APF is withdrawn. Peter Kaoma becomes managing director and a large restructuring program is put into place designed to save the governmental corporation from bankruptcy. General sales agents replace foreign ticket offices and a number of assets are sold in addition to the Boeing.
Data is available through May. In the year’s first 5 months, customer bookings are up 1.2% to 97,600, but freight is off 25.5% to 5.32 million FTKs.
The workforce is increased by 12.1% in 1994 to 2,130. In early spring, the government announces plans to restructure and privatize the carrier. Managing Director Kaoma is given another ZIMCO post and he is succeeded by George A. Lewis.
Traffic figures are reported through July and show passenger boardings up 14.5% to 108,730. Cargo recovers, moving ahead by 24.6% to 7.81 million FTKs. The airline is at least $100 million in debt by fall; international donors threaten Zambia with loss of its aid packages if the plan to save the airline is continued. As a result, the company ceases operations on December 3 and is liquidated, its 1,200 remaining workers being dismissed.
During the summer of 1995, the company’s DC-10-30, Nkwazi, is sold to Monarch Air Lines, Ltd.
ZAMBIA SKYWAYS, LTD.: Lusaka Airport, Box 32661, Lusaka, Zambia; Phone 260 (1) 233 097; Fax 260 (1) 286 508; http:// 184.108.40.206/zambia/easternair. htm; Code X7; Year Founded 2000. Lusaka-based Eastern Air, Ltd. is renamed on April 1, 2000. Yoosuf Zunda remains managing director and continues to operate a pair of Let L-410UVPs to the country’s tourist destinations, as well as into Chipata, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Kasaba Bay, Kasama, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Lubumbashi, Mansa, Mfuwe, Mongu, and Ndola.
A marketing and code-sharing agreement is signed with South African Airways (Pty.), Ltd. When the pact begins on April 18, Solly Patel becomes managing director and SAA takes over the smaller line’s Lusaka to Johannesburg route, operating larger equipment six times a week until Zambia Skyways can obtain Western jetliners of its own over the next 18 months. Patel confirms that qualified Zambia aircrew personnel only will be employed to fly the new aircraft.
ZAMBIAN AIRWAYS, LTD.: P. O. Box 310277, Lusaka International Airport, Lusaka, Zambia; Phone 260 (1) 271230; Fax 260 (1) 271054; Http://www. africa-insites. com/zambia/roanair. htm.; Code Q3; Year Founded 1999. Roan Air, Ltd. is purchased by Zambian interests, reformed and renamed on September 2, 1999. Gregory Haver-mahf is managing director and employing a pair of new Raytheon Beech 1900Ds, he increases the number of daily roundtrip scheduled service from Lusaka to Ndola and Kitwe to 18. Flight schedules are also arranged to complement international arrivals and departures to tourist destinations such as Mfuwe and Livingstone/Victoria Falls. Charters are offered to such points as Kasaba Bay and Chipata. Zambian Airways also manages the operations of the government’s Bombardier CL-601-1A Challenger fleet.
The reborn airline also joins the International Air Transport Association and the Southern African Bank Settlement, while linking its reservations system to the international Galileo network.
Thrice-weekly Beech 1900D return service is initiated on October 18 from Lusaka to Harare, Zimbabwe. Later in the month, the company enters into a strategic partnership with Air Namibia (Pty.), Ltd. from which it will purchase blocks of seats and thereby code-share on its London route.
The weekly B-747-48EC dual-designator roundtrips are inaugurated on November 2 from Lusaka to London (LHR). Later in the month, the number of weekly frequencies from Lusaka to Harare is doubled from three to six. As the year ends, the company has increased its domestic operations by 50% and has taken a dominant market position, controlling 85% of the domestic flights made in Zambia.
Airline employment stands at 60 at the beginning of 2000.
On March 6, the carrier enters into a marketing and code-sharing agreement with South African carrier Comair (Pty.), Ltd. Daily Beech 1900D roundtrips commence on March 26 from Lusaka to Johannesburg and to Nairobi. Plans are announced on July 4 for the acquisition of a Boeing 737-200.
On December 15, the company signs up to become a British Airways, Ltd. (2) franchise carrier. A Boeing 727-200 will be acquired from Comair (Pty.), Ltd.; repainted in modified BA colors, it will operate on the major’s behalf twice weekly from Johannesburg to Ndola and to thrice weekly Lusaka starting in January.
ZAMBIAN AIR CARGOES, LTD.: Zambia (1966-1971). This ZAC is set up in early 1966 by the Roan Selection Trust at Lusaka specifically to operate freight services in support of the copper industry. Under a subcontract from Lockheed Aircraft International at Geneva, London, England-based Field Aircraft Services provides support and management, including CEO H. E. Linsley and a fleet of 5 L-100-20 Hercules transports.
The 320-employee concern begins flying on March 21, transporting copper to Dar es Salaam and returning with petroleum and other products of national priority.
Service is provided without incident in 1967. Having completed a cargo service from Cambridge, England, to Lusaka via Benina and Entebbe on April 11, 1968, an L-100-20 Hercules catches fire as it is being parked next to a second ZAC Hercules; although both planes are destroyed, there are no fatalities.
Operations continue until 1971.
ZAMBIAN EXPRESS AIRWAYS, LTD.: Private Bag E811, 5th Floor, Finance House, Heroes Place, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia; Phone 224276; Fax 224158; Http://www. zamnet. zm/zamnet/zntb/zamex. html; Code OQ; Year Founded 1995. Privately owned Zamex is established at Lusaka in March 1995 to fill the void left by the defunct Zambia Airways Corporation. Shareholding is divided between private Zambian investors (51%) and SA Express (Pty.), Ltd. of South Africa (49%). SA Express Chairman William Deluce is given the same post with this concern.
An initial fleet comprising 2 de Havilland Canada DHC-8-314s chartered from SAExpress and a Piper PA-31-310 is assembled with which to begin revenue passenger services, both scheduled and charter.
General Manager Linton Bell’s new entrant continues during the remainder of the year and in 1996 and beyond to link the capital with Ndola, Livingstone, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, and Lubumbashi. An Aero International (Regional) ATR42-320 is ordered in July, along with a chartered Boeing 727-100.
A second frequency into the Malawian capital of Lilongwe is introduced on December 2; it connects Victoria Falls in Livingstone and the shore of Lake Malawi. The accompanying tour package is designed for the discerning tourist who has little time to see many places in Livingstone, South Luangwa National Park, and Lake Malawi.
Simultaneously, the airline becomes the first Zambian operator to introduce duty free sales on board its flights.
The ATR enters service in 1997 and allows the Navajo to double the company’s daily flights to Ndola. Flights continue in 1998-1999.