Zimbabwe’s Acting President Nkomo Applauds Zambia

HARARE — Acting President John Landa Nkomo last night lauded the
bilateral ties between Zimbabwe and Zambia saying they are set to
strengthen following the introduction of a flight between Lusaka and
Harare starting today.

Speaking at the launch of the Lusaka- Harare route by Zambezi
Airlines, the Acting President said the strong and cordial relations
of the two countries was evidenced by the presence of Zambian founding
President Dr Kenneth Kaunda who touched down at 1700hours aboard
Zambezi Airline for the event.

"The journey for Dr Kaunda has been very long, but eventful. For
Zambezi Airline, I say you have done us and Dr KK proud because this
is the environment he wanted created. We in Zimbabwe join our Zambian
counterparts in celebrating the efforts by the airline," said Acting
President Nkomo.

He said the bilateral relations between the two had stood the test of time.

"When the whiteman came, he could not even distinguish between a Tonga
person from the two countries (Zimbabwe and Zambia)," he said.

Dr Kaunda hailed Zambezi Airline, saying the launch was historic in
that it enhanced trade between the two countries.

"The occasion is truly historic. The route will facilitate travel and
enhance trade between people of our countries. It will facilitate
people to people interaction as well as boost tourism for the two
countries," said Dr Kaunda.

His speech was prefaced by singing of revolutionary songs and HIV and
AIDS songs.

He said the introduction of the route was consistent with the spirit
of the Abuja Declaration signed in 1981 during an Organisation of
African Unity summit, which sought to enhance cooperation among member

"This can only be realised through enhanced communication including
air travel. There can be no doubt that enhanced regional cooperation
can achieve what was envisaged in the Abuja Declaration," he said.

Zambezi Airline board chairperson, Dr Maurice Jangulo, said his
airline would soon enter into code-sharing discussions with Air
Zimbabwe. "We are now at an advanced stage with Air Zimbabwe on
code-sharing on regional routes and international routes. I also want
to thank our two governments for creating an enabling environment for
our business," he said.

Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Minister
Nicholas Goche and his permanent secretary, Mr Partson Mbiriri
witnessed the event.

Zambezi Airline commenced operations as a domestic carrier on July 15
2008, servicing the main Zambian cities and towns of Ndola, Kitwe,
Livingstone, Solwezi and Chipata with a 30 seater aircraft.

It then went regional, the first flight being the Lusaka-Johannesburg
route in May 2009 and built a reputation for excellent in-flight
service. This was after it leased two Boeing 737-300 series aircraft
from GE Commercial Aviation Service.

Configured for 12 Premier Business class and 99 Economy class seating,
the airline's aircraft are powered by new technology, fuel-efficient
engines that also offer passengers a quieter cabin.