While planes are usually taken for granted elsewhere in the world, in Africa they get celebrated upon acquisition.
Usually the money spent in hosting such aircraft welcoming parties could even buy another plane.
That is exactly what happened when Zambia received its first Boeing aircraft. The country, well, threw a big party.
It was not alone, Zambia’s Northern neighbour, Tanzania also organized full-fledged celebrations complete with dignitaries in attendance, when receiving their new 737-Max 9 plane recently.
Africans dance to airplanes but Zambia Airways has plenty to celebrate because the country has just made its own mark in the nation’s aviation history.
The airline has acquired the first-ever locally registered Boeing 737-800.
The national airline hopes that this purchase will be the first of many as it increases its routes and fleet size, eventually vying for the top spot in the African continent.
Zambia Airways first announced the acquisition of the Boeing 737-800NG in March 2023.
The aircraft has a capacity of 189 passengers, presumably in an all-economy layout, and will mark the entrance of the airline into the African regional market. The short-haul aircraft will primarily service the airline’s first regional route to Johannesburg.
The aircraft was received at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in late September 2023.
It was welcomed by dignitaries and other government officials, which included Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali, ZACL Board Representative Irene Tembo, Zambia Airports Corporation Limited’s Acting Managing Director, Cosam Ngoma, and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) acting Chief Executive Officer Leya Ngoma.
Zambia believes that the airline records success and has silenced sceptics, showing that the company was serious about making a name for itself.
Minister Frank Tayali said the acquisition also signifies the airline’s dedication to providing a superior travel experience to its passengers and boosting Zambia’s presence in the aviation industry.
Zambian Airlines has on the other hand recorded impressive growth since its 2021 relaunch.
In 2023, international and domestic travel increased by 106 percent and 133percent, respectively, compared to August 2019.
The numbers are from the report presented by Cosam Ngoma, the acting Managing Director of Zambia Airports Corporation Limited.