Proflight Zambia celebrates the anniversary today (June 19) of the first touchdown of its first Jetstream aircraft on Zambian soil ten years ago, marking a turning point that propelled the airline into becoming a major industry player.
That first 18-seat aircraft – registration 9J-PCS – has since been joined by three other planes of the same make, along with three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft and a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet.
“It is a measure of how far Proflight Zambia has come in the last decade, when we graduated from small planes,” Mark Barrett, who was the First officer on the original delivery flight and is now the airline’s Chief Operating Officer. “The arrival of 9J-PCS was a turning point for the company and for aviation in Zambia.”
Leading global news broadcaster CNN has highlighted the role of Proflight in boosting domestic tourism in Zambia.
The network’s flagship Marketplace Africa business programme has focussed on how the airline is helping to target the local market to promote tourism, in conjunction with the Zambian Tourism Board.
Zambia Tourism Board managing director Felix Chaila explained how the domestic industry was growing by 10 percent a year. But as CNN explained, the distances between Zambia’s tourist attractions meant an airline was vital to enable people to travel easily around the country.
Proflight Zambia is the fastest growing local airline in the Southern African region according to latest aviation industry research.
The airline’s capacity has almost doubled in the last five years, says leading global aviation analysis company OAG Aviation, which has reported that the airline recorded a growth in capacity of 89.8 per cent by capacity from 2010 to 2014 within and from the Southern Africa region.
Proflight was ranked third, after Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines, with Emirates in fourth place, followed by Mango and KLM.