Welcome on Board Proflight

Dear Proflight Customer

“How come I can fly from London to Budapest on Ryan Air for £29, and it costs me K6,000 to fly to Mansa?”

We hear such comments regularly. Comparing Zambian domestic air travel with Ryan Air is understandable but misses some key considerations, and we want to give some of the reasons why. In 2022 Ryan Air flew 160 million passengers. The EU is a vast single market of 448 million citizens with an average GDP per Capita of $38,000. The size of the market and the economies of scale available are immense. In addition, airport costs are a significant cost for any airline, which means short routes are more expensive than long routes. The unit cost will be high if we have short routes combined with small aircraft. That is also why the average seat price between Lusaka and Johannesburg seems high compared to Johannesburg London. When a large aircraft flies long distances at high altitudes, the cost per seat is as low as the industry can achieve.

The aviation industry can offer Zambia much in the way of time efficiencies. Still, we are a very long way from aviation being a standard means of travel for the majority of our citizens. We need our economy to grow significantly before that can happen. We do have a very dynamic coach industry. The width of the network and the prices charged are most impressive. This is the mass market, and the Airline Industry must hope that a portion will move from coach to airline over time. However, the current average ticket price gap between surface travel and air is enormous. There is much dialogue between the government, the Zambia Airports Corporation, The Zambia Civil Aviation Authority and the airlines to reduce air travel costs, but there is no silver bullet.

We remain confident that the number of citizens choosing to travel by air will continue to grow yearly, but Ryan Air-like fares are a long way off for Zambia’s airline industry.

Having said that, The GBP 29 one-way fare from London to Budapest is special, not the norm. At Proflight, we continue to offer our flash fares to allow more people to experience air travel. This is important to the entire Proflight family, and these are eagerly anticipated every week.

With the new 126-seat 737-500 operating on select Proflight flights Lusaka-Joburg, Lusaka-Ndola and Lusaka-Livingstone, you will see more availability of these popular flash fares!

Whether you are a regular Proflight traveller or a first-time traveller on a flash fare, thank you for choosing Proflight Zambia.

Captain Josias Walubita

Director Flight Operations

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