The new service by the Zambian airline directly connects the Copperbelt mining and industry hub of Ndola with South Africa’s city of gold and main business centre, Johannesburg, with flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The inaugural flight on Monday attracted high ranking officials which includes Zambia’s Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa Maynord Misapa, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Transport and Communication Honourable Mutotwe Kafwaya.
He said: “This route is a clear demonstration of our private sector in Zambia representing the government’s vision of developing the aviation sector. We invite investors to enjoy the good business and peace demonstrated by Proflight, who have grown from strength to strength.
“I want to assure you that the government will support Proflight to increase its flights to Johannesburg to provide a service to the business community between the two countries at an affordable price. Let’s join hands with Proflight and explore Zambian tourism.”
The Ndola-Johannesburg is designed to boost trade and investment between the two commercial business cities while bridging the gap on a two-hour-30-minute flight using Proflight’s 50-seat CRJ jet aircraft.
The service from Ndola’s Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport also provides convenient onward connections to Solwezi and Lusaka.
Proflight Zambia’s director of government and industry affairs, Captain Philip Lemba urged passengers to support their local airline, and said: “Proflight’s launch of its second direct flight into South Africa Johannesburg signifies the strong relationships and business ties we share as countries.”
“The route provides an efficient, reliable and suitable choice for business, leisure, friends and families travelling either from Zambia or South Africa allowing for further convenient connections,” said Capt. Lemba.
“Our domestic market is relatively small, making it hard to achieve economies of scale; airport taxes are high, fuel costs are high, and competition is high. Proflight believes the solution to these challenges is to remain on course with our slow steady, expansion into regional markets.
“By doing so, we will grow passenger numbers, enabling us to build our fleet further and achieve the economies of scale that are so vital to the success of airline businesses worldwide. The start of our new Ndola-Johannesburg route today is part of that continued strategy of growth, and one that we are particularly excited,” he added.
The new service provides easier access to travellers across Southern African states with return fares starting from K4,800, subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
Proflight is a vital link for trade because it provides opportunities for businesses to import or export goods and services. These are of economic value to both countries. In 2017 Zambia exported US$453.91 million of goods to South Africa, which is also the country’s largest source of imports worth US$2.46 billion.
Ndola is the commercial capital city of Zambia with a population of more than 400,000 people.
Johannesburg, the city with the busiest airport in Africa, will operate Proflight’s flight P0040 which departs Ndola Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport at 08:05hrs and arrives at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport at 10:35hrs. The return flight will depart from Johannesburg at 11:40hrs and arrive back in Ndola at 14:10hrs.