The widebody era arrived in 1984 with the acquisition of a DC-10. This was the only widebody used by Zambia Airways and was used to open a route to New York via Monrovia. This first DC-10, registered number 348 and christened "Nkwazi", was reportedly a point of national pride for many Zambian citizens. In 1989, a second DC-10 was leased from Sabena and later Lufthansa to help operate longhaul flights from Lusaka to London, Frankfurt, Rome, and Amsterdam, as well as a weekly service non-stop to Bombay in cooperation with Air India. The author James Ferguson, in his book about Zambian society, also recalls services to Belgrade and Larnaca.
Meanwhile, the ATR 42 replaced the HS.748s. The next fleet expansion consisted a of Boeing 757-200F which substituted one of the 707s. Zambia Airways ordered the MD-11 and leased DC-8-61 while waiting for the delivery of the MD-11, which never occurred. In 1992, the government reportedly indicated that the airline would be responsible for its own debt services and had to operating expenses from its own revenues. Under this directive and in a worsening economic climate, the airline very quickly scaled back both domestically and internationally, and was liquidated in 1995.
The carrier Zambian Airways, which in 2007 was the only Zambian airline flying scheduled routes, is unrelated and was derived from the privatised Mines Air Services Limited.