The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) says it is concerned about Zambia Airways Limited’s financing model considering government’s stressed fiscal position and ongoing liquidity crisis within the private sector.

In a statement, Monday, CTPD researcher Bright Chizonde described as worrying that government had not yet explained to the public exactly how it planned to finance the national airline.

Chizonde also stressed that it was still not clear whether the planes would be leased or purchased from Ethiopia.

Chizonde’s remarks fall in the wake of a disclosure by the Russian government over a week ago that a customized Sukhoi Superjet 100 presidential VIP super jet from that country will no longer be arriving due to the Zambian government’s lack of funds to complete the transaction.

“We have not seen any budget allocation towards Zambia Airways set-up and government’s debt situation would merit a caution regarding guaranteeing debt on behalf of the airline. One would wonder how government seeks to deal with fake news using a mute approach on critical issues, such as the re-launch of Zambia Airways’’, stated stated Chizonde.

He urged government to state the current position concerning how Zambia Airways would be launched as it was not sufficient to only update the public that the airline will soon be licensed and cleared for operations without addressing the financial aspects.

Chizonde cautioned that limited resources, coupled with a poor business model, would drain the Treasury and erode the limited funds meant for social service delivery, and that the decision remained a serious gamble Zambia could ill-afford.