Proflight Zambia flies around the world every week
Lusaka-based regional airline Proflight Zambia flew the equivalent distance of travelling around the world every week last year.
The airline flew a total of 2,275,204 kilometres during 2013, enough to fly the 40,075 kilometres circumference of the globe 56 times, or more than once round the earth every week.
Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Capt. Philip Lemba, said: “For the first time in Proflight Zambia’s 23-year history we broke through the two million kilometre mark last year, demonstrating that our strategy of slow, steady growth is starting to pay off.
“These latest figures also show that Proflight is starting to achieve the size and critical mass necessary to run an efficient and credible regional airline with Lusaka as its hub,” he added.
Flying passengers more than two million kilometres meant 8,830 hours of time in the air.
Some 136,206 passenger journeys were made during the year on Proflight – again a record for the airline, which increased its domestic route network to ten with the addition of its Mongu service in November, and added its first two international routes during the year, from Lusaka to Lilongwe in Malawi, and to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.
In total some 9,490 “sectors” – from one airport to the next - were flown during the year.
On a quirkier note, the Proflight passengers consumed 21,842 muffins during their flights as part of the airline’s complimentary on-board catering services.
That’s 2.184 tonnes of muffins: 18 times the weight of Douglas the baby hippo – which Proflight helped fly to safety in March after he was abandoned by his mother in the Lower Zambezi.
Douglas weighed 120kg when Proflight airlifted him, but will be up to 3.6 tonnes when fully grown.
While 2013 was a record year for Proflight Zambia, the airline is not resting on its laurels and plans further expansion during 2014, new regional routes from Lusaka to Johannesburg, Lubumbashi, Harare and Tete being evaluated.
Meanwhile, according to a recent article by Routes Online website, Proflight was the largest operator in Zambia for the year to November 31, 2013, flying 23.4 percent of the passengers arriving or departing from Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.