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Proflight upgrades its 50-seat jet

Filed under: Business,Latest News |
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Proflight Zambia reintroduces its 50-seat CRJ-100 jet aircraft 1Proflight Zambia has extended the lease on its flagship 50-seat CRJ-100 jet aircraft under new terms that will see the airline’s local staff taking full control of the plane’s operation.

The decision to extend the lease of the Bombardier CRJ-100 aircraft was based on the popularity of the jet with Proflight customers, explained managing director Tony Irwin.

Proflight cabin crew will now serve passengers, and the airline’s pilots will take over the flight deck under the terms of the new lease of the aircraft, which is owned by a specialist South African aircraft leasing company. Previously the plane was supplied under a “wet lease” arrangement operated by the owner’s crew.

Under the new “dry-lease” terms, Proflight’s own cabin crew will provide all customer service to passengers, and pilots will undergo training to fly the new type of aircraft.

This brings the CRJ jet into line with Proflight’s other aircraft, which are all operated directly by the airline. Proflight is working with the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority (ZCAA) to certify the aircraft type in Zambia and add the CRJ to the Zambian register.

“This decision has been made based on the response from our customers regarding the jet aircraft and we recognise that this has been very well received. The comfort, convenience and reliability of the CRJ makes it a great asset to Proflight and we have come to an arrangement where we continue operating the CRJ with the view of converting it from a wet to dry lease,” said Mr Irwin.

The new terms of the lease mean Proflight now has greater control of the use of the aircraft and increases its ability to carry a larger number of passengers on a single flight.

“We will start the process of completing necessary training of Proflight cabin crew to move them onto the CRJ imminently. This is an exciting decision for both Proflight staff, the Zambian aviation industry and our customers. We are committed to enhancing Proflight Zambia’s goal and vision of becoming a leading airline in the region, and see this as another step towards that goal,” he added.

With a large, modern cabin, the aircraft will be staffed by two flight attendants, rather than the single attendant currently serving passengers on the airline’s other aircraft, while additional seats enables more passengers to can be accommodated in greater comfort.

The new aircraft is 26.77m long and has a wingspan of 21.21m. It has a basic cruising speed of 785km and a maximum range of 3,045km ensuring quick and efficient travel throughout Zambia.

The jet operates on the Lusaka-Ndola and Lusaka-Solwezi routes and will also be deployed on Lusaka-Mfuwe and Lusaka-Livingstone routes when demand is high.

Proflight, which celebrates 24 years of operation this year, flies from its base in Lusaka to Livingstone, Ndola, Kasama, Mfuwe, Solwezi and Lower Zambezi, Lilongwe in Malawi and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It adds Kafue National Park and Kitwe to its routes in July 2015.

Bookings can be made at Proflight sales offices countrywide, through travel agents,  at any Shoprite store and online at www.flyzambia.com where payment can be made using any Visa, MasterCard or American Express debit or credit card as well as using Airtel Money, Zoona or PayPal.

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