Proflight Marketing Executive Hellen Ngwira, Zambia’s first female pilot, Yichida Ndhlovu, ZAF’s first female pilot, Maj. Nina Tapula, and Proflight Commercial Director Keira Irwin

Leading women from all walks of life joined together today (April 18, 2012) to help Zambia’s only scheduled airline, Proflight Zambia, celebrate its 21st anniversary of operations.

The company started in 1991 with one aircraft, and now flies to nine destinations countrywide with a fleet of 11 aircraft.

Some 30 high-profile women, including members of Proflight’s Mbasela frequent flyer programme, attended a breakfast to mark the occasion, and enjoyed a belated Women’s Day gathering on the theme of “the importance of time”.

“Time is something we believe is relevant in the life of a professional woman. Time also represents punctuality, which is key both to a woman’s life and to the running of an efficient airline,” said Proflight Commercial Director Keira Irwin.

Guests speakers at the event included Zambia’s first female pilot Yichida Ndhlovu, and Major Nina Tapula, who was the first female pilot in the Zambian Air Force. Proflight Marketing Executive Hellen Ngwira was master of ceremonies.

Major Tapula told guests about her career path and its highs and lows and said: “Becoming the first female pilot in the air force – you will all agree it is still a man’s world and as much as we are trying to break down those barriers there are still a few hurdles to get over.”

But she added: “My trailblazing has paid off and there are now quite a few women in the air force. I would like to encourage ladies to think about what you want in your life. What goes hand in hand with the importance of time is good decision making. Even if you make a wrong decision it is important that you keep going or know when to back down.”

The sentiment was echoed by Ms Irwin, who explained that Proflight had 183 employees, of which 55 were female. In the commercial department, more than 70 percent of staff were women, and she highlighted some of their achievements.

Ms Ndhlovu, who now flies for the Flying Doctor Service, then outlined her career path and talked about the challenges of being a woman in the aviation industry.

“We should encourage one another, and if someone is talented, encourage them. It is time for us as a country, especially in the field of aviation, for us to rise up and be counted. Proflight is such an example. We have seen where Proflight has come from, growing slowly but surely. I am so, so proud of Proflight,” she said.

“Feel good about your sister getting ahead. Encourage them to feel good about themselves,” she added.

“It is important to take time as a very, very critical item in our lives. Let’s move, and move now,” she concluded.

After the speeches, a grand draw saw prizes including free flights and a trip to Chiawa Camp. The women then had an opportunity for networking.

About Proflight Zambia

Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is the country’s only domestic scheduled airline.

From its base in Lusaka it flies to Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa and Kasama.

The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.

The airline operates two 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft;  three 18-seater Jetstream 32’s; two 12-seater Caravan C208; nine-seater Britten Norman Islander; seven-seater Cessna C401/C402; and two five-seater Beech Baron.

More information is available at

Category : Press Releases, STATEMENTS.
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