Zambia and Turkey have signed an air aviation agreement which provides for the introduction of a direct flight between Turkey's commercial capital Istanbul and Lusaka. The direct flights between the two cities are expected to start in the first quarter of this year. Zambia's Ambassador to Turkey Miriam Mulenga and Turkish Airlines chairperson Hamdi Topcu finalised the deal for commencement of a direct flight between the two countries in Istanbul yesterday.
Mr Topcu told Ambassador Mulenga that Turkey considered Zambia as an important destination economically which deserved to be serviced by a direct flight. He said a state-of-the-art air craft would be allocated to the Zambian route. This is contained in a statement made available yesterday by Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Zambia in Turkey Bwalya Nondo. And Ambassador Mulenga said introduction of a direct flight between Istanbul and Lusaka will enhance trade between Zambia and Turkey.
She noted that a number of Zambians were engaged in trading and business activities with Turkey and would find it convenient to use a direct flight to the destination. Ambassador Mulenga said a direct flight would also boost tourism and help Zambia raise arrivals to contribute more to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the tourism sector.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey has announced that visas to enter Turkey will, with effect from April this year, be applied for, and issued electronically to enhance efficiency in the issuance of of the documents.