The government’s 2023 Budget provisions to boost tourism have been welcomed by the country’s leading airline, Proflight Zambia.
Proflight is delighted to have made immense contribution to the surge in the number of international arrivals during the first half of 2022 compared to 2021.
In a speech read by Minister of Finance Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane during the presentation of the 2023 Budget, the number of international tourist arrivals increased to 496,456 during the first half of 2022 compared to 239,885 in the same period last year.
The previous drop in the number international arrivals in the country was as a result of the adverse effects of the COVID 19 pandemic which adversely affected the airline industry.
Despite the hurdles, Proflight continued to pride itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.
“Proflight has opened various routes in the last 10 years and during the time of the pandemic, the airline remained resolute - working diligently to provide sustainable transport services that benefited travellers, tourism, businesses, and local industries,” said Proflight Zambia Director Flight Operations, Captain Josias Walubita.
He continued stating that: “The rise in domestic tourism has been an important factor in helping Proflight diversify its operations. On the international front, the airline’s focus on bringing international tourists and business people to Zambia, helps in boosting foreign exchange earnings and the economy as a whole.”
Some of the key routes recently launched by the airline include the reintroduced Ndola - Mansa route – connecting Luapula and the Northern Circuit, as well as the Ndola – Joburg route.
Capt Walubita further welcomed the proposal by the minister to effect measures aimed at stimulating the growth of the tourism sector in a bid to boost activity in the aviation sector even as the airline seeks to continue to grow its operations.
Some of the incentives proposed include streamlining the legal framework by reviewing the Zambia Wildlife Act, Tourism and Hospitality Act and the National Heritage and Conservation Commission Act suspend customs duty on imports of selected fixtures and fittings, capital equipment, machinery, and safari game viewing vehicles.
Government also proposed to waive visa requirement for tourists from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Norway, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, the Gulf States and the European Union to facilitate increase in tourist arrivals.
As Zambia’s largest airline, Proflight remains committed to providing international travellers seamless connections into, within and out of Zambia.
Currently, the airline operates from its base in Lusaka and its domestic routes include, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi (Jeki and Royal airstrip), Ndola, Solwezi and Mansa. and regional routes to Johannesburg in South Africa from Lusaka and Ndola.