Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) has recorded a 38.4 per cent increase in domestic passenger movements in the first quarter of 2018, triggered by reduced air fares and new flight routes, among others.
According to ZACL communications and brand manager, Mweembe Sikaulu, over 66,000 domestic passengers passed through the airports in the first quarter of the year, up from 48,198 passengers recorded in the corresponding quarter last year, representing a 38.4 per cent increase.
Sikaulu noted that the 38.4 per cent upsurge is attributed to increased frequencies by newly-launched Mahogany Air, reduced air ticket fares and the introduction of new domestic routes within the country.
“66,729 domestic passengers passed through the airports in comparison to 48,198 in the first quarter of 2017 resulting in an increase of 38.4 per cent,” Sikaulu stated in a press release issued, Friday.
“Similarly, international passenger movements grew by 8.4 per cent from 320,185 passengers in the first quarter of 2017 to 347,232 passengers in first quarter of 2018.”
She stated that increased capacity on crucial local and international routes were among the main reasons for the upsurge in passenger traffic last quarter.
“Some notable factors that led to the positive performance were increased capacity on Lusaka – Johannesburg route; Rwanda solidified performance following the introduction of flights on the Lusaka – Johannesburg route; increased capacity on Lusaka – Harare Route; increased meetings Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE); a stable Zambian currency stimulated cross border trade activities, thereby, stimulating passenger movements; increased frequencies by Mahogany; reduced fares by both Proflight and Mahogany Air stimulated traffic; introduction of Ndola – Kasama flights by Proflight,” she said.
Sikaulu added that the total passenger traffic during the quarter under review surpassed ZACL’s total target.
“The total paying passenger traffic during the quarter under review was 135,096 against a budget of 129,185, representing about 4.6 per cent above budget performance. Similarly, this was a positive growth of about 11 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2017 when 121,684 paying passengers were recorded,” she narrated.
“At individual airport level, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) continued to be dominant with 91,193 paying passengers having been recorded during the period under review. This was 4.6 per cent above budget of 87,209 paying passengers. Similarly, this was a positive growth of about 11 per cent when compared to the same period in 2017 when 82,386 paying passengers were recorded. The performance at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Mfuwe International Airports was positive against the budget performing at 20.8 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively, and the two airports also recorded positive growths of 31 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, when compared to the same period in 2017.”
She, however, disclosed that Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in the tourist capital, Livingstone, posted subdued growth.
“Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport recorded a negative performance of 11 per cent below budget, and a decline in growth of about 6 per cent when compared to the same period in 2017 when 19,349 paying passengers were recorded. Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport declined by 2.6 per cent in terms of passenger movements in the first quarter of 2018 when compared with the same period in 2017,” Sikaulu added.
According to ZACL data, a total number of 413,961 general passenger movements were recorded collectively last quarter, up by 12.4 per cent when compared to the same period last year.
KKIA had the largest number of passengers, handling 71 per cent of total general passenger movements in the first quarter of 2018, leaving Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airports handling 12 per cent and 17 per cent of total passengers, respectively.