LUSAKA, May 17 - Zambian Airways has purchased a 48 seater ATR-42 plane in a major step to boost the yawning aviation sector in Zambia.
Speaking when the new plane touched down from South Africa at Lusaka International Airport yesterday, Zambian Airways chief executive officer Don MacDonald said the 48-seater plane would increase Zambian Airways seat capacity by 140 per cent and would run on the company's regional and domestic routes.
MacDonald said the ATR-42 plane delivered by Zambiana Air Services Limited would operate under the trade name of Zambian Airways.
"This significant investment demonstrates the company's confidence in the aviation sector in Zambia and its commitment to developing tourism and industry in the country," he said. "This is a tremendous boost to the company and the aviation sector."
MacDonald thanked government for developing the aviation sector and the people who had made it possible for the airliner to make such a magnificent investment.
"We thank travel trade tour operators, the travelling public, Barclays Bank for facilitating the deal and a very special thanks to the bunch of people and the board and staff of Zambian Airways for faith in the company during difficult times and for keeping the vision high," MacDonald said. "We now have great opportunity for boosting tourism and the entire economy."
MacDonald said the acquisition of the ATR-42 was just the beginning of greater things.
He said the new plane, with bigger capacity compared to the combined capacity of the existing two Zambian Airways planes, was a launching pad for the airline to growing the aviation industry in Zambia.