Proflight Zambia is doubling its regional capacity with the addition of a new 50-seater jet aircraft.
The nation’s longest running local airline expects to take delivery of the Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft in mid-December, with operations scheduled to start on February 1.
The bold move comes as Proflight starts to climb out of a challenging two years that has seen passenger numbers drop due to COVID-19.
“Under the circumstances this has been a very big decision for the shareholders, but we feel we have to take the step now in order to move forward,” said Proflight Zambia Director Flight Operations Captain Josias Walubita.
“I would like to thank all our staff for their teamwork and commitment during this difficult year. It is that commitment that has enabled us to take this significant step forward despite the devastation that COVID-19 has brought to the aviation industry. We are all excited at this new chapter in the life of Proflight Zambia.”
The aircraft acquisition is testament to the confidence in Proflight of Avmax Aircraft Leasing Inc, an aircraft leasing company based in Canada, which has signed a three-year lease agreement to lease the jet.
“ We are pleased to enter into a leasing agreement with ProFlight Zambia, who have built a strong reputation for providing highly reliable and quality services to its passengers. The addition of the CRJ200, is a testament to a recovering market and allows ProFlight Zambia to add additional frequencies and more destinations. We look forward to building upon this partnership with Proflight,” said Mark Maydaniuk, CEO of Avmax Group Inc.
The CRJ – the second in Proflight’s fleet – will enable the airline to increase the frequency of its popular service between Lusaka and Johannesburg, and expand its regional network further.
Both aircraft will be operated by Proflight’s team of local pilots and cabin crew, reinforcing its 30-year position as a proudly Zambian business that emphasises local training, maintenance and reinvestment.
It will also complement the airline’s existing CRJ-100 jet. The Bombardier CRJ-100 and CRJ-200 are based upon the design of the Challenger CL-600 business jet, the same type as Zambia’s Presidential jet (9J-ONE).
The newer generation engines on the CRJ-200 provide improvements in performance including lower fuel consumption, an increase in cruise altitude and cruise speed and range.
The new 50-seater jet has a range of 1,700 miles, opening up potential for routes from Lusaka to Cape Town, Mauritius, Luanda and other regional destinations, subject to demand.