By HUMPHREY NKONDE
Zambia’s four international airports recorded 456, 750 passengers in third quarter of 2016, representing an increase of 1.3 percent from the number of travellers who were recorded in the same period in 2015.
These figures are contained in a press statement that has been released by the Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL), a custodian of the country’s four international airports.
Zambia’s four international landing and takeoff facilities are Kenneth Kaunda in Lusaka, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe in Ndola on the Copperbelt, Mfuwe near South Luangwa Game Park and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula in Livingstone.
ZACL’s statement released by the communication and brand manager, Mweemba Sikaulu, says that 456, 750 passengers passed through Zambia’s four airports four international airports in the third quarter of 2016.
“There were a total of 397, 950 passengers recorded in the second of 2016 meaning that the corporation has seen a positive increase during the two periods, ” Sakaulu stated.
The ZACL statement says that the international passenger numbers increased by five percent from 356, 477 in the third quarter of 2015 to 372, 603 in the third quarter this year.
It further states that that the number of domestic passengers declined by 11 percent in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, which is located near the Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, recorded the highest positive growth.
“Overall, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport recorded the highest positive performance of all international airports with a market share of 1.41 percent.
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Kenneth Kaunda and Mfuwe, according to the statement, recorded negative growths in passenger movement, with market shares of 0.9 percent, 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent respectively.
ZACL says that Kenneth Kaunda International Airport had the highest positive performance in the country representing 69 percent of the general passenger movement in the third quarter of 2016.
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula were in the second and third positions with gateways measured at 15 percent and 14 percent respectively.
Mfuwe registered the least gateway at two percent, the only one that fell below 10 percent of all the recordings.
Meanwhile, the privately-owned Proflight Zambia has started the process of undergoing an audit for registration under the International Air Transport Association (AITA).
Five AITA auditors were deployed to Proflight Zambia recently to conduct an audit and once it is successful, the airline would be the first airline to do so in Zambia
The airline’s 33 members of staff have undergone IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
Proflight has indicated that it was undergoing 900 operational procedure checks known as ISARPS, which were conducted by five IATA auditors.
It’s website has quoted Captain Lemba, director of government and industry, as saying that safety was the airline’s priority.
“Over the past 20 years, Proflight has held task force meetings and has embarked on an extensive training to conform to IOSA standards,” the airline has said on its website.
It further says that in the last two years the airline has taken steps to becoming IATA-compliant.
Zambia’s leading scheduled airline was established in 1991, three years before the state-run airline, Zambia Airways, was liquidated.
Proflight’s local are Mfuwe located near South Luangwa Game Park, Lower Zambezi, Ndola on the Coppebelt and Livingstone, Zambia’s tourist capital.
Its regional routes are Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa.
The country’s major scheduled airline uses a 50-seater bombardier CRJ-100 jet, three 29-seater Jetstream 41 and two 18-seater Jetstream 32.
In its initial stages, the airline used Cessna aircraft for the Zambia Flying Doctor Service.