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Zambia looks to the skies

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 01:21

Zambia's government is keenly eyeing up plans for a national airline. As Tim Graham reports, the country has already been in talks with Boeing and Airbus.

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Student pilot Chisomo Daka has high hopes for the future. She's one of hundreds of students who have registered at Zambia's national aviation college, banking on a future in the industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHISOMO DAKA, STUDENT PILOT SAYING: "When I proceed to complete my commercial, I'm going to come back and join the national airline when it does come back and aim to be the best female pilot in this country." Zambia has big plans it wants to get off the ground. As part of its economic revival, the country aims to launch its own national airline. Currently, Zambian skies are dominated by smaller, low-cost carriers like Fastjet. But the government sees huge potential for investing in aviation. Yamfwa Mukanga is Zambia's Transport Minister. (SOUNDBITE) (English) YAMFWA MUKANGA, ZAMBIAN TRANSPORT MINISTER, SAYING: "Boeing came and made a presentation, so that we may appreciate how expensive or how cheap the planes are, and also we contacted Airbus. Airbus did the same, to take us through, so that we know what it takes to create a national airline." Critics argue any national carrier needs to be run by the private sector, rather than a government swelled by national pride. Zambia has had two main airlines since 1964, but both ultimately folded. There are high hopes that, this time, the idea might just take off.

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Zambia looks to the skies

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 01:21