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Ethiopian Airlines breathes life back into Zambia national airline at cost of $30 million

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Ethiopian Airlines has signed a shareholding agreement with Zambia’s main development agency to relaunch the southern African country’s flag carrier at an initial cost of $30 million.

The Ethiopian state-owned carrier has outpaced regional competitors Kenya Airways and South African Airways to become Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit and has been buying shares in other African airlines to gain a competitive advantage over rivals such as those in the Gulf.

Under the plan, Zambia Airways, being revived more than two decades after it was shut down, would operate 12 planes by 2028, Ethiopian Airlines said in a joint statement with Zambia’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Ethiopian Airlines will own 45 percent of the revamped Zambian airline, and Zambia 55 percent, the statement said.

“The initial investment as we start up the national carrier will be $30 million. Obviously, as we operate the airline, we will facilitate the financing necessary to support its growth,” it said.

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