Worries about Air Zimbabwe safety as Zambian airways suspends flights


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Travellers from Lusaka to Harare were forced to make the six-journey via Johannesburg because of concerns about Air Zimbabwe’s safety following the suspension of flights by Zambian Airways.

Zambian Airways had been forced to suspended flights because of high fuel prices and currency volatility in Zimbabwe.

Air Zimbabwe continued to operate daily flights between the two cities, but some Zambians expressed concern about flying on the airline, questioning whether it was adequately addressing safety issues, given the country’s economic difficulties.

It was not clear whether this was just a perception, national pride, or something else because at the time, Air Zimbabwe flights were more comfortable than the Zambian Airways ones.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07LUSAKA1318, ZAMBIA NOVEMBER 2007 ECONOMIC ROUNDUP

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07LUSAKA1318

2007-12-05 13:55

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Lusaka

VZCZCXRO4256

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHLS #1318/01 3391355

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 051355Z DEC 07

FM AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5200

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUSAKA 001318

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/S AND EB/CBA – DENNIS WINSTEAD

COMMERCE FOR 4510/ITA/IEP/ANESA/OA

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ECON EINV ETRD EAIR ECIN ZA

SUBJECT: ZAMBIA NOVEMBER 2007 ECONOMIC ROUNDUP

 

 

¶1. SUMMARY

— ZAMBIAN AIRWAYS SUSPENDS FLIGHT SERVICES TO HARARE

— ANNUAL INFLATION RATE FALLS IN NOVEMBER

— LUSAKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN NEED OF NEW RADAR CONTROL SYSTEM

— KARIBA NORTH BANK EXTENSION PROJECT TAKES OFF

— SOUTH KOREAN MINERALS COMPANY ENTERS MARKET

— COMESA TRADE MINISTERS MEET IN LUSAKA

 

——————————————— —–

Zambian Airways suspends flight services to Harare

——————————————— —–

 

¶2. Zambian Airways suspended its flights to Harare, effective

December 1, due to high fuel prices and currency volatility in

Zimbabwe. Air Zimbabwe will continue to operate its daily flights

between the two cities, although some Zambians express concern about

flying on the airline, questioning whether it is adequately

addressing safety issues, given the country’s economic difficulties.

Travel to Harare is also possible on South African Airways (via

Johannesburg) or by road (a six-hour journey).

 

—————————————

Annual inflation rate falls in November

—————————————

 

¶3. According to the Central Statistical Office’s (CSO’s) Consumer

Price Index, Zambia’s year-on-year inflation rate for November to be

8.7 percent. This marks a slight decline from the October

year-on-year rate of 9.0 percent. The CSO Acting Director

attributed the inflation rate change to declining food prices.

 

——————————————

Lusaka Airport in need of new radar system

——————————————

 

¶4. The National Airport Corporation has requested K8.2 billion

(approximately USD two million) to rehabilitate and upgrade its

radar system or K96 billion (approximately USD 24 million) to

replace it. Currently, air traffic controllers at all designated

international airports in Zambia use the Procedural Air Traffic

Control system to manage traffic in the Zambian air space. Lusaka

Airport’s air traffic control radar system, a donation from the

Italian Government in 1995, has never been operational because it

was struck by lightening shortly after its installation.

 

—————————————–

Kariba North Bank power project takes off

—————————————–

 

¶5. ZESCO Limited and Synohydro Corporation of China signed a USD 243

million engineering, procurement, and construction contract to

expand   the Kariba North Bank power station. The Export Import

Bank of China will finance 85 percent of the total project cost,

which is expected to be completed by 2011. The power station’s

output will increase from its current capacity of 600 mega watts

(MW) to 720 MW. ZESCO will also create an underground 360MW

capacity plant adjacent to the existing facility, increasing the

capacity to 1080 MW. Zambia’s current total power generation is

1,640 mega watts, which is inadequate in the face of new mining

projects and increased demand by commercial farmers. ZESCO has

resorted to load shading, especially with domestic consumers, in

order to meet increased commercial demand.

 

——————————————-

South Korean minerals company enters market

——————————————-

 

¶6. Zamkor, a Zambian mining prospecting company, signed an agreement

with the Korean Government owned Korean Resource Corporation (KORES)

to explore for copper and uranium deposits in Mufumbwe district in

Northwestern Province. The Chief Executive Officer of Hetro Mining

Company, which previously held the mining concession for Mufumbwe

district, has cried foul. He alleges that the Ministry of Mines and

Mineral Development cancelled Hetro’s mining license in order to

benefit Zamkor’s owners, which include a Mufumbwe chief as well as a

GRZ deputy minister.

 

————————————-

COMESA Trade Ministers meet in Lusaka

————————————-

 

¶7. COMESA trade ministers met in Lusaka on November 26-27 to discus

issues related to the bloc’s economic integration goals. The

ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to harmonizing their

agenda with other regional economic communities, particularly SADC

and the EAC (East African Community). The organization appears to

be on track to launch its Customs Union in December 2008. COMESA

Secretary General Erastus Mwencha announced that his contract will

 

SIPDIS

end in June 2008 after a successful 25 years career with COMESA.

 

LUSAKA 00001318 002 OF 002

 

 

According to COMESA officials, his replacement will be named at the

COMESA Summit in Harare in May 2008. It is widely expected to be

his deputy, Zimbabwean national Sindiso Ngwenya.

 

MARTINEZ

 

(22 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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