Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) is set to tighten its stranglehold on the Southern African market following comments by CEO Tewolde Gebremariam that a deal with the Zambian government over its Zambia Airways (Lusaka) project could be reached in the coming weeks.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Gebremariam said the tentative joint-venture carrier would feature the Zambian government and private-equity investors as additional shareholders. The signing of an outline plan in the coming weeks would then set to stage for a final agreement which could be concluded by November. Zambian Minister of Transport, Brian Mushimba, recently told ZNBC that the Zambia Airways project was currently being vetted by the Ministry of Finance before heading to Cabinet for review. If all goes according to plan, the new airline could be launched as early as next year.

The Zambian domestic market is currently home to Proflight Air Services, Royal Air Charters, and the recently relaunched Mahogany Air. All three are privately-owned. Proflight is the oldest having launched in 1991 around the time that IMF-backed privatization reforms required government to cease subsidizing the original Zambia Airways (1964) (QZ, Lusaka). Without state funding, the carrier eventually folded in 1994.

Ethiopian is in the process of developing Lilongwe into a Southern African feeder hub by virtue of Malawian Airlines (3W, Lilongwe) in which it has a 49% shareholding. Recently, the two were awarded domestic Mozambican traffic rights with Ethiopian being granted 108 route authorities and Malawian seven. According to Tewolde, Ethiopian is also in talks with Uganda over a joint venture airline while Equatorial Guinea’s CEIBA Intercontinental (C2, Malabo) is considering expanding their maintenance agreement “into something bigger”.

Information in above article taken from Ch- Aviation

Further to the above it has also been released by Mozambique news outlets that Ethiopian and Malawian airlines in combination are also in protracted discussions with the Government in that country to take over domestic, regional and Intercontinental routings as follows..

Ethiopian Airlines & Malawian Airlines to operate domestic flights in Mozambique!

The Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (IACM) launched a public tender for the allocation of domestic, regional and intercontinental routes, and asked interested Mozambican and foreign companies to apply for them in April 2017. Ethiopian Airlines and Malawi Airlines have been selected by the IACM to explore these routes under the public tender. While Ethiopian Airlines has expressed an interest in exploring all domestic routes set out in the tender, Malawi Airlines only has interest in specific domestic routes.

According to the Portuguese edition of Voice of America (VOA), the Instituto de Aviação Civil de Moçambique (Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute; IACM) has granted Ethiopian Airlines and Malawian Airlines the right to operate domestic flights in Mozambique. The airlines have up to three month to start operations in Mozambique; otherwise Ethiopian Airlines and Malawian Airlines will lose their freedom rights in Mozambique.

Editor 5 Vf24.com