Proflight Zambia welcomed the latest addition to its fleet yesterday (May 13), when its 105-seater Boeing 737-200 aircraft touched down at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.
The twin-engine jet plane marks a milestone for Zambia’s only scheduled airline, and will almost double the carrier’s seating capacity.
Proflight staff members were at the airport to welcome the aircraft from South Africa. It is expected to begin service on the Lusaka-Livingstone and Lusaka-Ndola routes this week, on which the airline has reduced fares to KR250 one-way or KR500 return for tickets booked at least 14 days in advance.
“The addition of the 737 aircraft represents a new milestone for Proflight,” said the airline’s Director of Government and Industry Affairs Capt. Philip Lemba. “This aircraft enables us to provide lower fares and operate more efficiently, making Zambia a serious contender in the regional aviation market.”
The increase in seating capacity will enable Proflight and its passengers to benefit from the economies of scale inherent in a large aircraft. The operating costs of a large aircraft are proportionately lower than those of a smaller plane. Airport landing fees, fuel and crew costs can thus be apportioned between greater numbers of passengers, bringing airfares down dramatically.
These new early bird fares will be passed on across Proflight’s domestic route of nine destinations, including those on which the smaller aircraft will still be operated.
One-way fares from Lusaka to Chipata will be KR700; KR1,025 to Kasama; KR855 to Mansa; KR650 from Kasama to Ndola; KR555 from Ndola to Mansa; KR1,025 from Ndola to Kasama via Lusaka; KR855 from Mansa to Ndola via Lusaka; KR630 from Ndola to Livingstone via Lusaka; KR670 from Ndola to Lower Zambezi via Lusaka; and KR720 from Solwezi to Livingstone via Lusaka. Fares include all charges except NACL taxes of K58 per flight.
|Fast Facts about the Boeing 737-200:|
|Engines||Pratt & Whitney JT8D|
|First introduced into service||8th August 1967|
|Overall Height||11.23 metres|
|Overall Empty Weight||31 600 kilograms|
|Cruising Speed||780 km / hr|
|Maximum Fuel Capacity||18 100 litres|
The 737 aircraft will also play a pivotal role in getting delegates to Livingstone for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in August, raising the nation’s standing in the eyes of the world’s tourism industry.
The 737 aircraft is the best-selling aircraft in aviation history. The 737 is operated by more than 500 airlines, flying to 1,200 destinations in 190 countries, and represents more than a quarter of the worldwide fleet of large commercial jet airliners. On average, some 1,250 Boeing 737s airborne at any given time around the world, with two departing or landing somewhere every five seconds, according to Flight International.
The 737-200 can fly at speeds of up to 780kph, compared with the current maximum speed of 546kph of the Jetstream 41 aircraft, reducing flight times significantly. Its cargo capacity will enable Proflight to offer increased baggage allowances on routes operated with the 737.
Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is the country’s only domestic scheduled airline. From its base in Lusaka it flies to Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa and Kasama.
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.
For more information go to flyzambia.com
Date: 13 May 2014