Mahogany Air (HOG, Lusaka) has once more outlined plans to resume commercial passenger operations, nearly three years after they were first suspended.

Speaking to the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper last week, airline Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Belemu said over USD200,000 will be invested in the training of staff in preparation for a resumption of operations.

“To promote capacity building of the local staff, the airline has entered into an agreement with Sahara African Aviation (Mbombela) in South Africa to conduct training for pilots and cabin crew," he said. “There is need to give an opportunity to the youths, including those who had never had an opportunity. This will benefit the company and the country in general."

Belemu said earlier this month that a consortium of Zambian and Dubai-based investors had pledged to recapitalize Mahogany Air to the tune of USD23 million spread over the next three years. This year alone, USD3 million will be pumped into the business followed by USD10 million in 2018 and USD10 million in 2019.

Belemu added that the process of securing a new Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from the Zambian Civil Aviation Authority (ZCAA) has already been started in anticipation of a possible June relaunch.

During its brief period of operations in 2014, Mahogany Air leased an E120 (from Sahara African Aviation) and a Beech 1900D for use in connecting Lusaka, Ndola International, Solwezi, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Chipata.

The Zambian domestic market is currently dominated by Proflight Zambia (P0, Lusaka) and Royal Air Charters (Lusaka).