Friday, November 18, 2011

Air Malawi suspends Johannesburg flights

The national airline Air Malawi has suspended flights to Johannesburg until December 1.A statement from the company says the suspension follows the expiry of the lease agreement on the aircraft it has been using recently for those flights.“Air Malawi is informing the travelling public that upon expiry of the lease agreement on the Boeing 737-200, the airline is currently in the process of sourcing a better, reliable and efficient aircraft.“As such all flights to Johannesburg have temporarily been suspended for a period of two weeks. It is estimated that these flights will resume on 1st December 2011,” reads a statement from Air Malawi.The airline also says its other aircraft, ATR 42, which has been undergoing maintenance, is expected to be back in service on Monday November 21.This will enable Air Malawi to resume all flights to Blantyre, Lilongwe, Harare, Lusaka and Dar-es-salaam from that date.Air Malawi has been leasing the Boeing 737-200 for about two years as its other aircraft has been out for maintenance in South Africa for almost three years now.Chief Executive Officer Patrick Chilambe said yesterday leasing costs the company, already saddled with debts, a lot more money. He could not say how much.“We are putting the Joburg flights on hold until we complete the formalities of a new leasing agreement,” he said.