From : The Lusaka Times
Monday, October 31, 2011

Zambezi Airline has said that it has learnt with shock government’s decision to suspend its Air operating certificate. Government over the weekend suspended Zambezi Airlines operator certificate citing serious safety concerns.

Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Permanent Secretary Dominic Sichinga who announced the suspension says that government will soon institute a tribunal to make inquiries on the airlines operations.

But Zambezi Airlines Chairman, Maurice Jangulo says the Airline adheres to safety and aviation regulations relating to aircraft maintenance.

Dr Jangulo says all its aircrafts are maintained and certified by a South Africa, company, Jetworx.

Dr Jangulo says the airline is working round the clock to ensure that its license is re-installed.

He was speaking to ZNBC News in Lusaka on Sunday.

Efforts to get a comment from the Mr Sichinga to react to Zambezi Airlines statement failed as his phone was unreachable by press time.

Last week at least 50 Zambezi Airline passengers were stranded in Lusaka after their scheduled flights to several destinations were cancelled. Among the affected passengers are those who were supposed to fly to Tanzania, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The cancellation followed Zambezi Airline’s failure to secure alternative aircraft as the company’s own planes were grounded. A check at one of the named lodges in Lusaka found several of the passengers, whose flights had been canceled booked there.

The stranded passengers said that Zambezi Airline had allegedly failed to find alternative planes. However, Zambezi Airways was able to charter a plane to carry passengers , who were stranded in Lusaka for 3 days, to various destinations.

Yesterday, passengers were stranded at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula Airport in Livingstone following the suspension of Zambezi Airlines’ aviation license. A check at the airport found at least 40 passengers, en route to South Africa, in a state of panic.

And one of the passengers, Pessie’ Van Clove expressed disappointment over the development further advising the airline to improve its communication strategy.

A check at the Zambezi Airlines office at the airport found the place locked.

Government yesterday suspended Zambezi Airlines from operating on reasons of failing to adhere to safety and schedule regulations as required in the aviation sector