Proflight Zambia has expanded its cargo capacity by designating some of its fleet to operate dedicated cargo flights between Lusaka and Johannesburg. The dedicated cargo flights are operating every Tuesday and Thursday throughout September.
Flights depart Lusaka at 19:30 and depart Johannesburg at 23:50 and will initially be operated by the Jetstream 41 aircraft and upgraded to the CRJ where demand is high. The aircraft operating the cargo flights have all seats removed beforehand and replaced with cargo nets so cargo is carried meeting industry best practices. An experienced engineer accompanies each flight to ensure optimal loading and carriage of all cargo.
Proflight Zambia Director Flight Operations Captain Josias Walubita will be providing oversight of this operation and flying some of the flights himself. “Proflight Zambia has invested in having cargo nets made and effective tie-downs procured to ensure that cargo can be safely secured in the cabin. All seats on the aircrafts have been removed allowing us to carry all types of cargo including live animals, perishables, and so on,” he said.
“At the moment we have scheduled the Jetstream 41 to fly cargo, and we will increase to the CRJ if demand goes up. There are restrictions on sizes of the aircraft in terms of the dimensions of the cabin and baggage hold and we are observing and taking safety precautions as the aircraft are initially passenger aircraft which will be used for cargo,” he added.
Proflight Zambia’s addition of cargo makes it the only Zambian local airline operating cargo flight services. All cargo bookings and handling are undertaken through BidAir Cargo, a leading cargo airline providing express airport-to-airport solutions and related services to the courier and express logistics industry.
Scheduled passenger business has declined as fewer people are travelling on domestic routes and internationally owing to the pandemic. Flying cargo is part of the airline’s attempt to stay afloat as passenger air travel diminished, although the airline hopes it will gradually increase towards the end of the year.