Mahogany Air (HOG, Lusaka) chief executive Jim Belemu has named Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as the carrier's inaugural international destination.

According to Xinhua, Belemu told a media gathering in Lusaka this week that the service was part of a USD10 million investment being ploughed into the loss-making airline.

“Despite the airline still making losses since inception, management is determined to be profitable in the next three years in line with the government’s drive for Zambia to become an aviation hub in the Southern African Region,” he said.

Mahogany Air currently operates two E120s and one Beech 1900D on scheduled flights out of Lusaka to Livingstone, Mansa, and Ndola International. Aside from the DRC, it will also open up flights to Kasama, in northern Zambia, later this month followed by Solwezi. However, service to the latter is still pending government approval given the gravel runway. Once given, it will be serviced with the Beechcraft.

Overall, Mahogany Air expects to double its annual passenger throughput from 30,000 in 2018 to 60,000 this year.