Proflight Zambia, Zambia’s leading scheduled airline, is targeting June 28 for the launch its new route to Mbala.
In the meantime, the airline will maintain its three-times-a-week flights from Lusaka to Kasama in order to service Northern Province.
“Proflight is confident we will have the necessary regulatory approvals in place by next month to launch our much-anticipated service to Mbala,” said Director of Government and Industry Affairs Captain Philip Lemba.
The new Northern Province service is in response to the airline’s customer satisfaction survey which indicated passengers would use this service as an alternative to the current Lusaka/ Kasama route which the airline has been operating since June 2011.
“Proflight’s customer satisfaction survey demonstrates that our customers are at the heart of our business. Having conducted the survey recently, we noticed a growing trend that showed customers’ interest for Mbala. In response, we are pleased to announce we will be servicing Northern Province through Mbala as opposed to Kasama,” said Captain Lemba.
“This will also allow us to use our larger aircraft, as before we were restricted to using a 12-seater Caravan because of the airstrip in Kasama,” he added.
In addition to meeting customer demand for convenience, the new Mbala service will enhance the customer experience as the flight will be in larger aircraft, will include a full cabin service, have more seats available and will allow Proflight to increase the availability of lower fares on the route.
As the airline prepares for the IATA operational safety audit which it will be undergoing in 2016 it Is reducing the use of the 12-seat Caravan aircraft. The larger turbo-prop Jetstream 32’s and Jetstream 41’s cannot operate into Kasama due to the gravel runway. This combined with the opportunity to deploy a larger aircraft on the Northern Province flights to stimulate demand and enhance customer satisfaction are the reasons for the airline looking to operate a Lusaka/ Mbala service in place of the Lusaka/ Kasama service.
The flight from Lusaka to Mbala will enable travellers to still easily access Kasama, Mpulungu trading port, Nakondwe border post and Mbeya, as well as tourist destinations on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Proflight will be putting on a shuttle between Kasama and Mbala airports for the convenience of those customers in Kasama.
Mbala is Zambia’s most northerly large town and provides a strategic location on the southern edge of Lake Tanganyika, close to the fishing port of Mpulungu and the border with Tanzania.