Proflight Zambia’s crew is leading the way in safety and professionalism in the country’s growing aviation industry as it continues to set new standards in the sector.
Three Proflight crew, Captain Dalitso Phiri, First Officer Chanda Katongo and cabin crew member Christofa Kaira, were recently honoured by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with gallantry medals during an investiture ceremony on Africa Freedom Day at State House.
The crew’s display of attentiveness and professionalism in the manner in maintaining safety won the heart of the President and Zambians across the nation.
Proflight is an airline that takes the safety of its passengers and aircraft very seriously. And the key to ensuring safety and comfort of passengers is having a team and crew dedicated to their work.
So what does it take to be a world-class aviation team?
Capt. Phiri has been with the airline for more than eight years, after gaining his pilot’s licence in Australia.
“Every time I am working I make sure I am on top of things; very calm and working with my team. You can face any challenge and difficulty situation with this kind of attitude,” said Capt. Phiri.
“I like to work with the team as they work with a good attitude, which is very important; with focus, passion and dedication. We live up to our motto, which is being friendly, reliable, efficient and safe. This is what we try to achieve all the time.”
Capt. Phiri explains: “Our crew has a very strong connection with its passengers and we relate well with them. Nearly on every flight you would see a passenger greeting us by our first names. It’s been like that for so many years now, and we continue to be the best we can be as a crew. Because of this connection we have with our passengers it makes us very different from the other airlines.”
“My family have been very supportive of the years and they are proud of what I do for one of the best airlines in Zambia.”
With so much support from his family and friends, Capt. Phiri has lived up to his top performance through achieving more in his aviation career.
“Getting my commercial licence, being promoted to captain on the Jetstream 41 aircraft, and receiving the gallantry honour from the President have been the biggest highlights in my aviation career,” he said.
“I love the Jetstream 41 aircraft; it’s a turboprop aircraft, and one of the fastest aircrafts on Proflight’s fleet. The aircraft has a modern electric flight information system which I use to my advantage.”
“Every time I am in the air, I feel a sense of responsibility, and every action I take in the flight deck is to make sure I get the passengers to their destination on time, safely, and as efficiently as possible. That’s what goes through my mind every time.”
Capt. Phiri explains that to be pilot you must be ready for anything all the time. The unlikely events happen and that’s the nature of the job.
“As a captain you need to manage any incident, and it requires you to remain calm and work as a team, and carry out all the training you have received accordingly.”
“My secret to managing challenges: I always make sure to show up for work very early and try to have a back-up to any setbacks I might face. That’s how I approach each day,” he stated.
“There is so much that goes on every day in the work we do as aviators. For instance, time keeping and getting the passengers on time to their destination safely. This causes a challenge to pilots as flights are scheduled.”
He points out: “Sometimes it could be delays at the airport due to various issues like various planes wanting to take off nearly at the same time; it could be the catering team or clean up; their so many reasons. When such things happen, I make sure I stay calm and observe safety checks first. To get away on time is one of the challenges for Zambian aviation.”
“At the end of the day we succeed because we are a team that constantly works together. This is what differentiates us from other airlines and the connection we share with our passengers, nearly on every flight you can see a passenger greeting one of us by our names, and I think that’s really unique.”
“Seeing my passengers happy gives me a great sense of achievement,” he added.
And cabin crew member Christofa Kaira has his own secrets of success.
Kaira has been working at Proflight for more than eight year, training and learning his way through aviation, setting an example to all Zambian cabin crew after receiving the gallantry medal from the President.
Kaira said: “Proflight has nurtured me and it has built me into what I am today. I have learnt so much in the years I have been with the airline.”
“To be a cabin crew somebody must be of sound mind, able to make decisions, quick in learning, thinking, adapting to new methods of doing things and sharp,” he said
“As cabin crew our main area of work is safety. We are responsible for making sure passengers follow safety instructions once on board.”
Most of the time people think the cabin crew’s job is to only serve passengers food and drinks on a plane. Christofa explains otherwise.
“Every time we fly we make sure we work together and coordinate everything we do; my problem is also a captain’s problem and his problem is also mine. Hence, we continuously work together in that manner while ensuring safety and efficiency.”
“I have this passion for my job; it’s just something in me. I love flying, I love planes; ever since I was young this was my dream. Every time we take off and land it’s just a nice moment for me, that’s why I am able to execute my work very easily, because I am happy.”
“Being awarded the gallantry honour by his Excellency the President has been the best achievement and experience I have attained in my eight years at Proflight.”
It was a dream come true for him to stand next to the President. “I felt so highly esteemed, it is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Because of team work we received the gallantry medals.”
“Because of this, today I am more confident and a better leader,” added Christopher.
“So, every time I get on on board, I am always excited and happy to see and meet my clients and it’s so easy to put a smile on their faces.”
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, Kalabo, Ndola, Solwezi, Kasama, Ndola-Solwezi and Ndola-Kasama, and regional routes to Lilongwe in Malawi, and Durban in South Africa, Mfuwe-Lower Zambezi between June and October 2018. The airline’s Lusaka-Harare route will commence on July 9, 2018.
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, three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft and two C208 Caravans.
More information is available at www.flyzambia.com.