Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) has recorded a 28 per cent increase in domestic passenger movements in the second quarter of 2018, triggered by reduced air fares, among others.
And ZACL says the introduction of RwandAir flights on the Lusaka-Johannesburg route has proven to be a success so far.
According to ZACL communications and brand manager, Mweembe Sikaulu, over 101,000 domestic passengers passed through the four major airports in the country in the second quarter ending June 30, 2018, up from 79,658 during the corresponding period last year, representing an 28 per cent surge.
Sikaulu noted that the 28 per cent surge is attributed to reduced air fares due to increased competition in the local aviation sector, which has largely been influenced by the latest entrant, Mahogany Air, and Proflight’s new fleet of aircraft servicing the existing domestic routes within the country.
“101,937 domestic passengers passed through the airports in comparison to 79,658 in the second quarter of 2017 resulting in an increase of 28 per cent,” Sikaulu stated in a press release issued, Friday.
“Similarly, international passengers increased by 39,050 resulting in 11.2 per cent increment compared to 2017.”
She stated that the increased capacity on crucial local and international routes were among the main reasons for the upsurge in passenger traffic last quarter.
“Significant increased domestic uplifts to Livingstone, Lusaka and Ndola by Mahogany Air and Proflight Zambia resulting in a positive domestic variance of 26 per cent, 51 per cent, 17 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, at Kenneth Kaunda (KKIA), Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe (SMKIA), Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (HMNIA) and Mfuwe (MIA) International Airports when compared to the same period last year. This signifies that an actual growth has been recorded rather than a split in the passenger numbers following the introduction of Mahogany Air in August, 2017,” Sikaulu explained.
“Reduced ticket fares due to increased competition. This development is expected to increase economies of scale in the medium to long-term. Proflight Zambia introduced a bigger capacity aircraft servicing both Ndola and Livingstone. The aircraft type was Fokker 70 with a seat capacity of about 73. Proflight are in the process of introducing a Boeing 737-500 with 114 seats.”
And Sikaulu disclosed that the introduction of RwandAir flights on the Lusaka-Johannesburg route has proven to be a success so far.
“The introduction of RwandAir flights on the Lusaka-Johannesburg route has also proven to be a success. RwandAir further upgraded their fleet to include an A330, with a seat capacity of 270, while maintaining other aircrafts such as the B737, CRJ and a Q400 on the route. This resulted in increased capacity on the route,” she narrated.
According to ZACL data, a total number of 488,640 general passenger movements were recorded collectively last quarter, up by 14.4 per cent when compared to the same period last year.
Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) continued to be dominant with 113,289 paying passengers having been recorded during the period under review.