As the new normal continues, Zambia’s leading airline, Proflight, says it has started recording an increase in customer demand on its local and international routes after months of steep declines.
Proflight Corporate Director Chitalu Kabalika said that new bookings on the Lusaka-Johannesburg route as well as local flights are now outpacing cancellations, a turning point since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that had devastated air travel demand.
“The uptick in travel demand is a positive sign of recovery, after what has been and still is a challenging time for our industry,” said Mr Kabalika.
He added that while complete recovery may still be a long way ahead, the current trend shows a glimmer of hope for the industry and the country’s economy.
On October 1, the airline launched passenger flights to Johannesburg from Lusaka, barely a week after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the reopening of South Africa’s international borders, under level 1 of lockdown.
Flight P0020/ 21 will depart from Lusaka at 08:00 and arriving in Johannesburg at 10:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The return flight leaves Johannesburg at 12:00 arriving in Lusaka at 14:00.
On Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays P0024/ 25 leaves Lusaka at 12:00 arriving in Johannesburg at 14:00. The return flight leaves at 15:00 and is back in Lusaka at 17:00.
Additional days will be introduced when demand increases, and there are plans for the airline to bring back direct Ndola/Johannesburg and Lusaka/ Durban flights at a later date.
However, he noted that the airline remains cautious on resuming full operations, and that it is monitoring the situation on the ground.
“To ease fear and anxiety in customers, Proflight has put in place safety measures on board all aircraft; we hope this will help to provide confidence to passengers looking to travel with us in the future, ” he said.
“As we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all Proflight staff, both on the ground and on board, are committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health and safety.”
Proflight has put in place a range of measures to ensure that flights are safe for both passengers and staff. Face masks are mandatory for both passengers and crew when boarding and during the flight. New aircraft cleaning procedures have also been included, such as the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tables and screens.
About Proflight Zambia
Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is Zambia’s leading scheduled airline. From its base in Lusaka its domestic routes include Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi (Jeki and Royal) Ndola, Solwezi and Ndola-Solwezi and regional routes to Johannesburg in South Africa.
The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.
The airline operates a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet, and three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft.
More information is available at www.flyzambia.com.