This is my third instalment in the quest of exposing the malpractices at Proflight Zambia by some expatriates.
As mentioned in my earlier letters, Proflight advertised for some pilot vacancies. I have attached the actual adverts in support of my argument.
The current Director of Flight Operations at Proflight Mark Barret, came up with the requirements for these pilot positions. Mark Barrett thought that he was clever by coming up with experience and requirements that most Zambians don’t have. This was done so as to disadvantage the Zambians and have an excuse of employing more expatriates. The Zambian Civil Aviation Authority can substantiate that indeed these requirements are higher than usual.
For example on the CRJ fleet Mark Barret came up with ridiculous requirements for a CRJ first officer so that he can cut out all the Zambians and create a spot for a friend of his who happens to be a South African by origin. We have many experienced and seasoned pilots even at Proflight but Mark Barrett made sure the Zambians are disadvantaged by placing job requirements made to suit his friend.
This is unacceptable and unjust. How can Proflight call itself an indigenous company and yet tolerate such mediocrity?
Still on the CRJ fleet, Mark Barrett set very high requirements for a CRJ captain so as to disadvantage the two First officers currently on the CRJ fleet. Mark Barrett instead wants to bring foreigners as usual.
On the Jetstream 41 fleet, again the idea is to bring South African Pilots at the expense of locals. Proflight has one young local who happens to be a good candidate for captain on this fleet but it remains to be seen if he has made the cut.
On the Caravan fleet, the hour requirements are also very high for captains so as to justify employing foreigners. Again this is to disadvantage local pilots from companies such as Flying Doctors services.
For those that doubt that we Zambian pilots are not good enough, here is one for you. The only jet and largest aircraft in the Proflight fleet is crewed entirely by Zambians. The two captains on the this CRJ have vast experience as they were both presidential pilots at some stage. Both have flown the current Presidential jet on various missions around the world. On the caravan fleet we have an exemplary pilot and instructor by the name of Colonel Sikazwe. On the Jetstream fleet we have the likes of Captain Kabungo and Captain Chishimba.
We also have young local pilots that Proflight can groom but do a very poor job at it. Instead most young pilots at Proflight end up frustrated.
My appeal to the Ministry of Home Affairs via the immigration department, is that no work permits for expatriates should be issued or renewed minus evidence that reasonable steps were taken to employ a local for the appplicable job.
As a local pilot seeking employment, I wish for the day that we can have an indigenous airline so as to give options for locals and provide competition for Proflight.
As to the employees at Proflight without a voice, one day all this will end and you shall be treated as equals. Soldier on and do not give up. Your fortitude will yield results eventually.