It was in 1991 that Proflight first took to the skies. Since then, the airline has set its sights on progress.
When the airline was set up by former Zambian Airways pilot Tony Irwin the company only had one five-seater Beechcraft Baron aircraft. Today, Proflight claims the top spot of being Zambia’s leading scheduled airline, with a fleet including a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet, and three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft
As the company flies into a new decade, its achievements and milestones in the last ten years show the story of a true Zambia success story.
And as a pioneer in Zambia’s aviation industry, Proflight is celebrating the last decade with renewed optimism for a future of continued growth, while reflecting on the evolution and needs of the industry and society.
The past 10 years have been both rewarding and fulfilling – as well as challenging. The airline has seen the opening of new routes within Zambia and in the Southern Africa region. From its base in Lusaka, its domestic routes have grown to include, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola and Solwezi. The airline democratised the local airspace by giving Zambians the opportunity to travel within their country and beyond for leisure and business purposes. This has been demonstrated by the increased air travel among Zambians in the past decade; 553,045 general passenger movements were recorded in the third quarter of 2018 according to the Zambia Airports Corporation.
As well as bringing adventure, relaxation and life-long memories to Zambian citizens and residents, Proflight has been attributed to boosting domestic tourism, bringing with it the economic benefits of local employment, sustainable development, enhanced natural and cultural heritage as well as a role in shaping the Zambian identity.
Zambia is internationally renowned for its scenic wonders and unbeatable wildlife. The country is spoiled with waterfalls, national parks and cultural diversity that global tourists come to visit in their thousands every year. Proflight has also strongly supported government and other stakeholders in programmes aimed at giving Zambians more opportunities to explore their country.
In 2019, Proflight made its maiden flight into the business capital of Africa’s most industrialised nation, South Africa. This was the airline’s second conduit into South Africa after its Durban route. This special flight departs from Ndola, the capital town of the Copperbelt region, straight into the business hub of Africa’s City of Gold, Johannesburg.
Proflight’s decision to service the Ndola-Johannesburg route comes in the wake of the rising demand for air travel given the corresponding rise in business pulse and trade between Zambia and South Africa in the last decade.
Throughout the years, Proflight has brought the wonder of air travel to thousands. In 2013, the airline carried over 135,000 passengers, and the number has been on the rise since then. In the company’s early days, primary focus was on tourism-related travel, flying people to national parks, but to reflect the needs of its diverse clientele, today Proflight’s backbone is business travel, particularly in the mining sector.
In 2015 Proflight was named as one of the fastest growing local airline in Southern Africa, with capacity almost doubling between 2010 and 2014. It was ranked third, after Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines, with Emirates in fourth place, followed by Mango and KLM in a survey of African airline growth by OAG Aviation.
Proflight owes its growth to a strategy that hinges on further expansion of its regional operations, coupled with continued growth of the domestic market.
The company has created synergy and strategic partnerships with other players on the market. Proflight signed its first code-share agreement with RwandAir in 2015, while several interline agreements are in place with South African Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways.
In line with its goal of providing world-class services to its customers, Proflight’s staff are now using new automated operation systems to improve efficiency and create a safe and friendly environment for passengers. In line with the global aviation industry’s move to harness technology and ensure smooth operations, at the cusps of the decade, Proflight invested in an operations system called LEON for operations and Spidertracks to monitor and track its aircraft.
LEON is an integrated digital coordination system that enables the airline to manage its day-to-day operations. LEON can be accessed from a mobile phone or computer.
Work has never been smarter for the airline’s employees at head office and in its operations dispatch office at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.
On the customer side of things, Proflight has made booking a whole lot easier with its online booking system on www.flyzambia.com, complemented by a host of travel agents and a global distribution system giving Proflight significant competitive advantages including interline partnerships with Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, kulula, South African Airways and Rwandair. Innovative payment systems have also been put in place allowing customers to book and pay online, through any travel agent worldwide or in the Proflight offices.
In spite of the negative effects of COVID-19 Proflight Zambia remains focussed on its goal of connecting the nation. As Proflight embarks on a new and exciting decade, the airline commits to stay true to its four values: safety, reliability, efficiency and friendly service.
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 Durban and 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.