In line with its goal of providing world-class services to its customers, Proflight’s staff are now using a new automated operation systems to improve efficiency and create a safe and friendly environment for passengers.
In line with global aviation industry moves harness technology to ensure smooth operations, Proflight has invested in an operations system called LEON for operations and Spidertracks to monitor and track its aircraft.
Proflight Zambia’s commitment to both safety and innovation led it to select Spidertracks aircraft tracking technology, which features a web-based interface to enable users to access flight details, and track flight details from anywhere at any time via the internet.
Meanwhile, 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.
Information is available to each crew member and key administrators at the tap of their fingertips. Users of the automated system in the airline tell their stories on the efficiency and safety of the system.
“I love the system because it helps in tracking our flight hours, expiry of our licences and keeping documents. The LEON system is made in such a way that it focuses on the individual by keeping them informed of their roster, programming and flight hours,” said Proflight Chief Pilot Captain Basil Sichali.
“The main excitement about the system is that you can access the LEON app on your mobile phone the way you access messages.”
“You have a lot of information at your fingertips that helps you plan. As Chief Pilot I am responsible for a number of people and LEON helps ME know what everyone is doing at each point in time,” highlighted Capt. Sichali.
Efficient operations do not just happen. Proflight Zambia staff work each day to make sure schedules are on time, safety and security is optimised, aircraft maintenance is up-to-date, crew members are eligible to fly, catering is equipped on each scheduled flight, and a lot more attention to minute detail that brings a new set of challenges for personnel to react to when achieving the safe and efficient movement of passengers and cargo.
“Before the introduction of the LEON system we used to roster using an excel spreadsheet, which was printed out on paper and sent to the entire cabin crew. Here they can see what they are doing and what others are doing, making it not so efficient,” said Cabin Services Manager and Instructor Audrey Makungu Sichula.
The LEON system helps in planning, especially for updating licences, aviation certificates and training requirements.
“What I love about this system is that each crew member can see what they are supposed to do.”
“In the case of any flight changes, crew members will be alerted by the system; there will be no need to start calling all crew involved. Automatically they would see the changes on the app on their mobile phones,” she added.
LEON propagates an environmentally friendly paperless office because of its digital nature.
“I love the idea of a paperless world, which is environmentally friendly. As does the Spidertracks digital system,” said Cabin Crew and Acting Operations Controller Namonda Nyambe.
Spidertracks is one system Proflight Zambia is using to monitor its aircraft on the ground and in the air.
“From this system we are able to track active aircrafts that are airborne and on ground. It’s able to tell us where each particular aircraft is at each point in time, either in the air or on ground.”
“Leon has made it efficient for me to track the hours the aircraft has operated, the crew as well as the fuel used by each aircraft in a particular day. This has been efficient it has saved us more time as everyone can access it from anywhere,” said Operations Leon Administrator Mwila Lusenga Mushima.
“We moved from handling a lot of papers to a smarter digital platform that is accessed by many without making lots of photocopies for various departments,” she added.
LEON shares decision-making capabilities with multiple departments and reduces operational risk due to data consistency and timely availability of data within departments.
When irregular operations cause changes to flight times, the LEON system ensures disruptions are identified, and corrective action is administered to return the flight schedule to normal.
“With LEON we have everything in one place. The crew, licences and the duty limitations are all in one place,” Dispatch Manager Stephen Daka.
“Crew members are no longer stressed because they are operating within their hours of work, hence making them very efficient and highly considerate to safety on flights,” explained Mr Daka.
The automated system warns administrators and individuals if there are any possible flight violations before they occur. It sends out reminders of any expiry of soft skills, medicals, licence renewals and so on.
“In the past we used to photocopy every fuel receipt. But after the introduction of LEON we have reduced on paper usage tremendously as we enter everything on the system,” Flight Operations Assistant Katongo Lungu.
Closely tied to efficient operations are significant benefits such as cost control and performance that meets or exceeds airline obligations.
“Our main responsibility in Dispatch Office is to ensure the safety and security of all our aircraft, whether in the air or on the ground. With LEON in place our work is much more efficient as we no longer have to manually enter flight hours; schedules are now all automated, and we are able to track who was working on what at what particular time,” Senior Flight Operations Assistant Sylvia Chanda.
“We launched LEON IN early 2019, it’s a very good system that we use now to follow our flights, roster our crew and communicate internally much faster at the same time,” said Mrs Chanda.
Efficient operations are key: passengers check-in successfully, are effectively processed at the gate, receive favourable service on-board the aircraft and arrive at their destinations on time with their luggage.
“The best is that it has all your endorsements and expiry dates of, your licences and skills trainings,” said Senior Cabin and Safety Instructor Penjani Kakwende.
“My daily work is made easy as every time I see what I am doing on the system, which licence or training am due for. Everything is updated in Leon, it’s more like you are on a cloud. It lessens the paperwork I have to carry around. With LEON I have a smart roster on my phone; basically information on my fingertips,” said Mr Kakwende.
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, Ndola, Solwezi and Ndola-Solwezi and regional routes to Lilongwe in Malawi, 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, 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8-300, and three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft.
More information is available at www.flyzambia.com.