Following charges that it undermines local pilots, Proflight has defended itself in this press statement :
Proflight champions local recruitment
Supporting, nurturing local skills and talents
Lusaka, Zambia – Local recruitment and skills training are at the heart of Proflight Zambia’s business approach, the airline reiterated this week.
The locally owned company, which celebrates 26 years in business this year, employs 189 staff, of which all but 13 are Zambian citizens. Of its 26 pilots, 19 – or three quarters – are Zambian citizens and three are female including Zambia’s youngest commercial pilot, Besa Mumba.
“Local recruitment is a cornerstone of our business,” said Proflight’s director of government and industry affairs Captain Philip Lemba, who himself was one of the first Zambian’s to train as a pilot, more than 50 years ago.
“Proflight is proud to associate itself with professional hardworking pilots. Over the years, the airline has made it a priority to put local skills and talents at the heart of its service. So far, both local and international pilots have proven themselves to be committed to providing a world-class service in line with the airline’s values of being safe, reliable, friendly, and efficient,” he added.
The airline is currently in the final stages of selection of its latest intake of pilots, who are initially required to pass a written test before going through an interview and final selection stage. Vacancies in other disciplines tend to be limited, however, as staff turnover is low and employees tend to remain with the company long-term.
The current pilot recruitment is for J41 Captain’s and First Officer’s, Caravan Captain’s and a CRJ Captain. The company advertises the positions internally giving existing employees the opportunity to apply as well as advertising to the public. All applicants, internal and external are asked to write an exam upon applying and those that get above 60 percent in the written test are invited in to be interviewed. The airline received 25 applications for the recently advertised positions of which 16 applications were from Zambian citizens.
Proflight employs experienced pilots many of whom have clocked more than 10,000 flying hours, including Captain. Kenneth Kabungo, who has been with the company for almost 15 years, and Capt. Gerald Tembo, who has almost 20,000 hours and is the airline’s Chief Pilot, said Capt. Lemba. All four pilots on the airline’s flagship 50-seat CRJ100 aircraft are Zambian.
Proflight’s professional pilots flew more than 3 million kilometres and accumulated 6,984 hours of flying time during 2016.
Proflight is a proud Zambian company that prides itself in giving preference to suitably qualified Zambian applicants, and invests heavily in the training of local staff. All 12 cabin crew, 48 commercial and ground operations employees and many more are Zambian citizens.
Capt. Lemba added: “Training more pilots to attain international standard capabilities and knowledge in order to handle larger aircraft is important to the airline’s mission of growing in the Central Southern African region.”
In 2016 Proflight sponsored 79 training courses for its staff, involving 598 students, including individuals who attended multiple courses, over a total of 964 training days.
Proflight is approved to carry out its own internal training and most training on topics such as dangerous goods handling (DG), Aviation Medicine (AVMED), Aviation Security (AVSEC), Customer Service, Jetstream-31/2/ and Jetstream-41 engineering, and pilot ground school are done at the training facilities in Lusaka, while the more advanced training is done at licenced training facilities in South Africa, Germany and the Netherlands.
“The airline has a proactive approach to personal development and training which aims to help every employee maximise their potential,” explained Capt. Lemba.
Proflight employs Zambian staff across all its departments, including flight crew, cabin crew, flight control; engineering which includes aircraft engineers, technical stores, engineering projects and maintenance planning; commercial which includes sales, marketing, reservations and ground operations and administration which includes human resources, IT and finance.
Thanks to the dedication of its staff the airline has managed to build and grow the company to the position it is today and many would say the Proflight employees are the company’s greatest asset.
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