South African Airways (SAA) is dumping its Malawi route in a bid to stay financially viable.
South African media quotes sources familiar with the plan that the airline will also reduce flights on its profitable Johannesburg-Cape Town route by more than a third.
Speaking to Capital FM, Director of South African Airways in Malawi James Chikaonda reveals that the local office has not been informed of the Airline’s decision to dump the Malawi route.
Representatives of the local Department of Civil Aviation have also not been consulted on the matter as
Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe described the announcement as a ‘blessing in disguise’.
According to the Minister, the move may create business opportunities for other players in the aviation industry, including Malawian airlines.
South African media reports that the airline also plans to reduce flights on its profitable Johannesburg-Cape Town route by more than a third.
It also plans to get rid of at least 10 of the more than 50 planes in its fleet.
The South African flag carrier has been struggling financially and is facing possible liquidation.
SAA currently has huge debts, amounting to over K6.7 Billion, which the SA Government has been struggling to repay.
The African destinations that will get the chop are Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi, Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, Kigali in Rwanda and Libreville in Gabon.
The development means that Malawi will now only have Kenyan and Ethiopian airways as the only International Airlines flying into the country.
SAA is the flag carrier of South Africa. Its headquarters are in Airways Park on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.