By Africa Moyo
Proflight Zambia is to land at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport this morning, as the airline launches its Harare-Lusaka route. The airline had been selling tickets all along waiting for the historic flight into Harare. It could not be established by the time of going to print how many tickets had been sold for the maiden flight.
Proflight is scheduled to fly into Harare four times a week, a development that is expected to boost trade relations between the two countries.
The airlines director of government and industry affairs, Captain Philip Lemba, recently said the Harare-Lusaka route has been motivated by the aspiration to embolden the existing ties between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Capt Lemba said the neighbouring countries share business, tourism and family links and "we are confident that our morning service will complement existing afternoon services on the route".
He added that air transport provides important economic contributions to countries.
"Proflight continues to help countries participate in the global market by increasing access to main markets and allowing the globalisation of production," said Capt Lemba.
The airline's Harare-Lusaka route is also to promote tourism and trade between the two countries, since air transport provides opportunities for businesses to import or export goods and services.
Lusaka is about 395km flying distance from Harare and the journey takes 70 minutes by air, compared to almost seven hours by road.
Expectations are high that Proflight's morning schedule would be the most popular for business travellers from both countries.
The Harare-Lusaka route will bring to three, Proflight's international routes.
Already, it flies from Lusaka to Durban in South Africa and Lilongwe in Malawi, over and above linking all the main provincial centres within Zambia.
Travellers from Harare will now be able to use Proflight to Ndola, Solwezi and Mfuwe.
Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is Zambia's leading scheduled airline.
From its headquarters in Lusaka, Proflight's domestic routes include Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi, and Kasama.
The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.
It airline operates a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet, three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft and one 18-seater Jetstream 32.
Proflight's decision to fly into Zimbabwe is seen in light of the 'Zimbabwe is open for business mantra', which, as reported by our sister paper, Business Weekly, has resulted in over $16 billion worth of investments being approved by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) between January and June this year.
The figure of approved investments dwarfs investment approvals of the last eight years, in which the country averaged $400 million per annum.
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