Fastjet is a UK based budget airline headquartered at Gatwick airport.
But ministry of communication officials are fearful that the granting of the licence is dubious, questionable and may push local airline operators out of business.
The licence was put on minister Mukanga’s office to append his signature today.
Reliable sources in the industry have disclosed that the approval process did not follow normal procedures.
It is alleged that Acting President Guy Scott was used by the Fastjet executives to give instructions to the juniors.
‘There is a lot of disquiet in the lower ranks of the Ministry who had resisted the whole arrangement. There is a general feeling the whole process smells of corruption as it has been fast-tracked and soon the airline plans to commence operations. It is also understood that Fastjet has used gullible Zambians as fronts to be shareholders despite that they never paid any dime for their shares in order to beat the system,’ a source close to the case said.
There are calls that the Anti-Corruption Commission should investigate the shareholding of Fastjet Zambia and ascertain how the Zambians were able to afford the shares allocated so that they are majority shareholders!
Fastjet has been trying to get licenses in Africa to take advantage of the aviation opportunities in the continent as Europe is saturated but clever countries like South Africa, Kenya,Nigeria and others have denied them entry as domestic markets are reserved for locals.
So far only Tanzania in Afroca has allowed Fastjet to operate there.
The airline is on record as having said that the only reason they are coming to Zambia is because it is easier to get local licence unlike other African countries.
Industry sources say foreign Carriers are not allowed to operate as a local carriers for various reasons including security and unfair competition by killing local industries. One source said, “Aviation is a sensitive industry where they give licences willy nilly but like everything in Zambia, the country is a foreigners paradise and the owners of the country spectators”. They point out that we will be a laughing stock in in the region to allow such a thing.