Monday, August 12, 2013

► ZAMBIA: Proflight mulls expansion into Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, the DRC and Zimbabwe.

Proflight ZambiaWith the recent launch of its first regional flights to Lilongwe, Malawi, Proflight Zambia (P0) is mulling adding three further international destinations to its growing network by mid-2014, effectively making Lusaka a regional hub for air travel.

In an interview with Eturbonews, Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs, Captain Philip Lemba, said that after years of steady growth, the airline had now built a solid base and reached a critical mass from which it could expand into regional markets, heeding the requests of its customers.

On the cards is the carrier's previously announced Ndola - Lubumbashi (Congo) service along with Dar es Salaam, Tete (Mozambique) and Johannesburg. Harare, too, is mentioned, however, the airline's management has stated in the past that the route's launch, originally slated for December 2012, has been put off indefinitely owing to competition on the route from 5th Freedom operators which now include Air Namibia (SW), Emirates (EK), KLM (KL) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET).

Dar es Salaam operations could also prove difficult given the recent withdrawal of Tanzania's Precision Air (PW) from the route citing its viability and the pending entry of Tanzanian LCC, fastjet.

Proflight says it is considering using Johannesburg's Lanseria Airport; the city's secondary airfield and the country's sole privately owned international airport as an alternative to OR Tambo International.. 

With the demise of Zambezi Airlines (ZJ) - now being sued by Barclays Bank Zambia Plc for an alleged "breach of agreement and failure to settle a bill incurred for services rendered to the airline’s customers during the course of its operations" - Proflight is Zambia's sole scheduled operator though recent news suggests some competition could come in the form of Kafue Airlines, a local startup reportedly granted their Air Operator's Certificate by the Zambian Department of Civil Aviation.