…the tourism agency CEO meets Turkish Airlines officials

Berlin, March 7, 2019

Zambia Tourism Agency, ZTA, Chief Executive Officer, Felix Chaila said the Turkish Airlines flights into Zambia are set to add significant value to the tourism industry. Mr. Chaila said the direct flights between Istanbul, the Turkish commercial hub and Lusaka provide a direct entry into Zambia by European tourists.

The ZTA Chief was speaking shortly after his meeting with the Vice President of the Turkish Airlines in charge of sales, Mr. Askin Cantimur. Mr. Cantimur, in the company of two other senior Turkish Airlines officials called on Mr. Chaila at the Zambian stand of the ongoing global tourism showpiece, popularly known as ITB, in the German capital, Berlin.

“This route promises to be a win-win situation for both the Turkish Airlines and Zambia”, Mr. Chaila said. The ZTA Chief noted that airlines make significant contributions to the tourism sector as they provide ease of passage between and among holiday destinations.

In his discussions with the Turkish Airline’s officials, Mr. Chaila made a wide range of proposals that could possibly be considered in the near future. Already, Zambia is beginning to draw some benefits in terms of global visibility from the partnership with the Turkish carrier. For example, immediately outside gate 6 of Tegel Airport in Berlin, the visitor to Germany can see a life-sized Turkish Airlines bill-board advertising its route into Zambia.

The Turkish Airlines began flights into Zambia two months ago following discussions between President Edgar Lungu and his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Erdogan.

President Lungu negotiated the airline deal as part of his over all efforts to cast tourism as a growth point for the Zambian economy in addition to the diversification efforts currently under way that should see the country reduce its dependence on copper.

Under President Lungu, the once-defunct Zambia Airways is to take to the skies in a deal involving Ethiopian Airlines with the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, holding 51 percent on behalf of government while Ethiopia Airlines holds 49.

The revival of Zambia Airways is part and parcel of President Lungu’s plan to boost the tourism sector by easing access into and out of Zambia. Equally part of the grand scheme is the construction of the 300million dollar ultra modern Kenneth Kaunda International Airport which is expected to see an increase in visitors passing through its terminals from the current one million to four million every year.

To indicate his intentions for the tourism sector, President Lungu has elevated the Ministry of Tourism to an economic Ministry effectively sitting within the top five bracket of the executive branch of government.