Proflight launches thrice-weekly direct route connecting Cape Town and Lusaka

Published Feb 23, 2024


On the heels of massive growth in its international air access, the Western Cape further strengthens connections into key African markets with Proflight Zambia’s launch of the first-ever direct service between Cape Town and Lusaka.

To commemorate the new route, Proflight partnered with the Taj Cape Town hotel to host a launch the event, showcasing the opportunities this new link will bring for tourism, trade, and investment between the two cities and countries.

Initially launched with a twice weekly service, Proflight Zambia has now increased the frequency on its Lusaka – Cape Town route to three nonstop flights per week starting in February 2024, highlighting rising demand for the route.

The enhanced schedule with flights on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday represents the only direct air connection between the two city hubs, with convenient approximately 3.5-hour journey times that bypass the need for lengthier one-stop or connecting itineraries.

By responding with additional capacity to growing passenger numbers in the first months of the route’s operation, Proflight is underscoring its commitment to advancing seamless air links between Zambia and South Africa.

“This direct route is a game-changer that exponentially expands opportunities for both regions across business, leisure travel and culture,” says Josias Walubita, Director of Flight Operations of Proflight Zambia. “The Western Cape has tremendous tourism appeal and economic potential, and our flights emerge as part of the Cape Town Air Access’s initiative to enhance its global connectivity, evidenced by a notable year-on-year growth in international passenger traffic through Cape Town's terminals.”

The Cape Town Air Access initiative, formed in 2015 to enhance direct long-haul flight connections into Cape Town International Airport, saw international passenger numbers rise 13% year-on-year this past January to over 316,000 two-way passengers.

The new Proflight service will build on the airport's passenger growth momentum, promoting increased two-way tourism and enabling Western Cape companies to more easily tap into the rapidly growing inbound Zambian market to South Africa.

“We have seen incredible growth in recent years in visitors from Zambia, with over 145,000 Zambian travellers coming to South Africa in 2023 compared to 116,000 in 2022. This direct air link comes at an ideal time to facilitate trade and investment partnerships as companies from both countries now have an easy, seamless way to connect through Cape Town International Airport," Walubita adds.

South Africa and Zambia, both key members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), have fostered a strong tourism partnership, offering a rich blend of urban, wine, and beach experiences alongside unparalleled wildlife and natural sights like Victoria Falls. This synergy positions the two countries as complementary destinations, attracting regional travellers to the diverse attractions each has to offer, from South Africa's developed tourism infrastructure to Zambia's renowned natural beauty.

As such, the seamless connections by direct flights like Proflight Zambia’s new route are crucial to expanding tourism flows between the countries by making transnational multi-stop trip planning simpler. With the launch of more direct air links, hotel chains like Taj with properties in both countries also stand to benefit from regional tourists opting for trusted hospitality brands as they travel between the destinations.

“This new air bridge between Cape Town and Lusaka will pay dividends for both leisure and corporate travel, advancing regional cooperation and success,” said Mark Wernich, Cluster Manager at Taj Hotels.

The convenience of the direct air link also comes as a boon to the crucial MICE segment – meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions – which is expected to flourish with improved connectivity between Cape Town and Lusaka. Additionally, luxury leisure travellers can now enjoy a seamless journey from Cape Town to East Africa, seeking both ‘wine’ and ‘safari’ experiences.

As a leading venue in Cape Town catering specifically to high-level corporate events, Taj Cape Town is ideally positioned to host this influx of business travellers and delegates.

By bringing executives and decision-makers closer together, the strengthened connections are set to spur new B2B opportunities, deals, and trade partnerships between South African and Zambian companies.

"The introduction of the Cape Town to Lusaka direct flight path is more than a new route; it's an invitation to connect two of Southern Africa’s top tourism and business travel destinations and foster growth in East Africa," affirms Wernich. “This route connecting Cape Town to Lusaka will open new doors for regional cooperation, trade, and cultural exchange. Enhanced connectivity will attract investment and bolster job creation, fostering sustainable business development and driving economic growth across the region. We commend Proflight for this initiative that promises to boost tourism and diversify the travel options between the two countries.”