|Commenced operations||1 July 1964|
|Ceased operations||December 1994|
|Hubs||Lusaka International Airport|
|Parent company||Central African Airways (1964–67)|
Republic of Zambia (1967–95)
Zambia Airways (1964–1967)
On 1 January 1964, a reconstitution of Central African Airways (CAA) as the national airline of Southern Rhodesia, Zambia and Malawi led to the creation of three new national carriers, all of them wholly owned subsidiaries of CAA. Each of these airlines were relative autonomous but relied upon CAA's technical, managerial and financial assistance. Zambia Airways was established in April 1964. T. M. D. Mtine and R. P. Hartley were appointed as Zambia Airways' first chairman and general manager, respectively. Two Douglas DC-3s and three de Havilland DHC-2 Beavers three were transferred from CAA. The Beavers were intended to operate on domestic services under the premise that the revenue generated by these services would stay with the airline. On the other hand, the DC-3s would operate transborder flights. Operations started on 1 July 1964 serving the Salisbury–Kariba–Lusaka–Ndola–Kitwe run. In November the same year, the Ndola–Elisabethville service, previously flown by CAA, was launched on a weekly basis. The domestic routes were generally unprofitable and they were supported by the profits generated with CAA's international operations.
In 1967, Alitalia was selected to run the airline after Zambia Airways's splitting from CAA later that year. Pan African Air Services and Flying Tiger Line also participated as bidders for the management contract. In July, a new airport was inaugurated in Lusaka. The same year, CAA was dissolved within months, and CAA's former subsidiary Zambia Airways became the state-owned national airline on 1 September 1967.
Zambia Airways Corporation (1967–1994)
On 1 September 1967, following the Zambia Airways Act, which appointed the carrier to operate both domestically and internationally after the collapse of CAA, Zambia Airways Corporation was formed in order to take over Zambia Airways, the former CAA's subsidiary. Technical and management assistance was provided by Alitalia. The first general manager was Franceso Casale. Two BAC One-Eleven 400s that were originally ordered by CAA were delivered late in the year. Operations started on 1 January 1968 using BAC One-Eleven 400 aircraft and serving Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zaire on the Lusaka–Ndola–Nairobi, which also called at Kinshasa, Blantyre, and Livingstone. A Douglas DC-8-43, on wet-lease from Alitalia, permitted the carrier to start, in November 1968, a service from Lusaka to London with intermediate stops at Nairobi and Rome. The introduction of this route doubled the length of Zambia Airways' network to 12,000 miles (19,000 km). Mauritius was first served in November 1969.
February 1970 saw the upgauge of frequencies to London, with a second flight operated along the Lusaka–Nairobi–London run. Two HS-748s and a Douglas DC-8-43 from Alitalia were added to the fleet. The HS-748 came to replace four DC-3s the company had deployed on domestic routes. A charter subsidiary named National Air Charter Zambia (NACZ) was formed in 1974; operations began in March the same year using a leased Canadair CL-44. Also in 1974, the first Boeing 707-320C joined the fleet. Two more Boeing 707s were purchased from Aer Lingus and Pan Am in early 1975. Another Boeing 707-320C was acquired from the Aer Lingus on 24 March 1975. By this time, the contract with Alitalia was cancelled and a similar one was signed with Aer Lingus. The introduction of the Boeing 707 enabled the airline to launch direct services from Lusaka to London and Frankfurt in April 1975 and July 1976, respectively. By late 1976, the DC-8s were replaced with Boeing 707s. In early 1975, the two BAC One-Eleven 200s were sold to Dan-Air. Prior to ordering a Boeing 737-200 Advanced directly from the aircraft manufacturer in June 1975, a Boeing 737 had been wet-leased from Aer Lingus. The ordered 737 was intended as a replacement for the wet-leased aircraft; it entered service in late June 1976. On 14 May 1977, a Boeing 707 was involved in an accident with fatalities near Lusaka.
The contract for managerial and technical assistance with Aer Lingus ended in March 1982, when a three-year agreement for the provision of operational and technical expertise was signed with Ethiopian Airlines. After reorganisation, Zambia Airways became a subsidiary of the government-owned Zambian Industrial and Mining Corporation in April 1982. A Boeing 727-200 was added to the fleet in 1983. On 4 July 1983, an HS-748, 9J-ADM, was involved in an accident in Kasaba with no serious injuries to the 46 people aboard. Zambia Airways became the sixth African customer for the DC-10 when an order for a 203-seater aircraft was placed in the first quarter of 1984. On 31 July 1984, the airline accepted the DC-10. The jet was deployed on the European corridor. Simultaneously, the Mauritius service was extended to Bombay in cooperation with Air India. At March 1985,[update] Patrick Chisanga held the chairman position and the number of employeees was 1,666. At this time, the airline undertook scheduled passenger and cargo services radiating from Lusaka to a number of domestic points and to Bombay, Dar-es-Salaam, Harare, Johannesburg, Larnaca, London, Mauritius, Nairobi and Rome with a fleet of one DC-10-30, four Boeing 707-320Cs, one Boeing 737-200 and two HS-748s. In December 1985, two Boeing 707-320Cs were transferred to NACZ.
Aimed at returning the carrier to profitability, Lufthansa was hired in January 1986 to carry out a study over the performance of the technical and operational departments. In September the same year, Godfrey M. Mulundika was appointed as managing director. Two ATR-42 were ordered in 1987. These two aircraft entered the fleet during the summer of 1988, and came to replace the HS-748s on domestic and regional routes. Later on, one of these brand new ATR-42s was damaged while landing, but nobody resulted seriously injured. An MD-11 was ordered in 1989 for delivery in January 1992. At March 1990,[update] the chairman position was held by Michael S. Mulenga and the number of employees was 2,134. At this time, the carrier's network included domestic points along with Bombay, Dar-es-Salaam, Entebbe, Frankfurt, Gaborone, Harare, Jeddah, London, Manzini, Nairobi, New York and Rome. The fleet consisted of two ATR-42-300s, two Boeing 737-200s, one DC-8-71 and one McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30. A Boeing 757 freighter leased from Ansett Worldwide Aviation made Zambia Airways the second non-American carrier, after Ethiopian Airlines, in operating the type. By March 1991,[update] owing to financial difficulties, the airline had closed its offices in New York and Tokyo, terminated the transatlantic services to New York, and dropped plans to fly to Bangkok. Cost-cutting measures resulted in the dismissal of a number of employees as well. Services to Lubumbashi were re-introduced in 1992 after the war forced their suspension.
Relaunch of the airline
In a recent quest to re-launch the airline, Ethiopian Airlines in conjunction with the Zambian Government, has reached an agreement to re-establish the State airline on the Zambian Day of Independence, October 24, 2018. In August 2018, all parties involved deferred the launch date of the airline to 1 January, 2019.
On 20 August 2018, Ethiopian Airlines signed a definitive agreement with the Zambian Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), to acquire 45 percent shareholding in the revived air carrier for US$30 million. The plan is to start with local and regional routes and expand to intercontinental routes later. The revamped airlines plans to operate 12 planes by 2028.
Zambia Airways used to serve the following destinations when it operated:
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- Douglas DC-3
- DHC-2 Beaver
- Vickers Viscount
- BAC 1-11-207s
- Boeing 707-320C
- Douglas DC-8-43
- Douglas DC-8-54F
- Douglas DC-8-62CF
- Douglas DC-8-71
- Boeing 737-200
- Douglas DC-10-30
- ATR 42-300
- Boeing 757-23A(PF)
Accident and incidents
- Guttery (1998), p. 218.
- "Air transport (see image caption at the bottom left of the page)". Flight International. 110 (3515): 209. 24 July 1976. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018.
- "World airline directory—National Air Charter Zambia (NCAZ)". Flight International. 108 (3445): 495. 20 March 1975. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018.
- Guttery (1998), p. 219.
- "Airliner market". Flight International. 107 (3440): 227. 13 February 1975. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018.
- "Airliner market". Flight International. 108 (3445): 442. 20 March 1975. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018.
- "Airliner market". Flight International. 107 (3458): 962. 19 June 1975. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018.
- "World airline directory–Zambia Airways Corporation". Flight International. 127 (3953): 131. 30 March 1985. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018.
- "Zambia buys a DC-10". Flight International. 125 (3906): 664. 17 March 1984. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018.
- "ATR wins new orders". Flight International. 132 (4085): 4. 24 October 1987. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018.
- "MDC announces more orders". Flight International. 136 (4172): 14. 8 July 1989. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018.
- "World airline directory—Zambia Airways". Flight International. 137 (4207). 14–20 March 1990. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018.
- "Zambia operates 757 freighter". Flight International. 139 (4249): 8. 9–15 January 1991. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018.
- "Air Zambia deficit". Flight International. 139 (4258): 10. 13–19 March 1991. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018.
- "94 at a glance". Flightglobal. Flight Airline Business. 1 February 1995. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018.
- "Zambian collapse". Flight International. 146 (4451): 13. 14–20 December 1994. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018.
- Chongo, Kelvin (29 January 2018). "Zambia Airways gets closer to take-off – Zambia Daily Mail". Zambia Daily Mail. Lusaka. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Lusaka Times Staff (20 August 2018). "Zambia Airways Relaunch Deferred to Next Year". Lusaka Times. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Reuters (20 August 2018). "Ethiopian Airlines inks $30m deal with Zambia to revive national airline". Business Daily Africa Quoting Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Guttery, Ben R. (1998). Encyclopedia of African Airlines. Jefferson, North Carolina 28640: Mc Farland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-0495-7.
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