Wednesday, February 27, 2013

► ZAMBIA: Proflight set to take delivery of a 737 in May for use on Lusaka - Livingstone flights during UNWTO.

Proflight ZambiaDomestic operator Proflight Zambia (P0), is looking to take delivery of a Boeing 737-200ADV in late April for use on its domestic routes during the upcoming XXth United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly to be jointly held in Livingstone & Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in August this year.

Proflight's Route Network
Proflight's Network (Proflight)
In an interview with the Zambian press, Proflight added that it intends to use the 737 to boost capacity on its Lusaka - Livingstone flights with hopes of later deploying the aircraft onto upcoming regional flights planned to Lilongwe, Malawi and Lubumbashi, Zambia.

Whilst the airline said it it is happy with the influx of numerous international carriers into Zambia and the corresponding influx of passengers, it did state that it was because of them (in this instance Emirates (EK) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET)) that they had had to abandon plans for a potential Lusaka - Harare, Zimbabwe route launch, on the cards since June last year.
"Proflight intended to start flying to Harare in December 2012 after being issued with an Air Operators’ certificate on 26th October. We have decided not to start operating to Harare due to the fact that Emirates Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines both have fifth freedom rights which allow them to operate between Lusaka and Harare.
We do not feel as a small Zambian operator that we can go up against these international airlines and continue to survive so we have decided not to commence flights to Harare. We are, however, looking to start international flights to Lilongwe in mid-April and Lubumbashi [Democratic Republic of Congo] pending relevant approval. We will open the routes with a J41 aircraft with the intention of expanding to the 737 fleet."

Proflight added that in order for Zambia to reach its full potential in terms of the availability and accessibility of air transport services, the country needs a coherent long-term aviation strategy coupled with better quality infrastructure.

Based in Lusaka, Proflight currently operates flights to Mfuwe Livingstone, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa, Kasama, and Lower Zambezi.