Malawians will have to wait a little longer before they start enjoying direct flights between Lilongwe and Dubai.
In October last year, President Lazarus Chakwera held a meeting with Emirates Airlines’ Vice President responsible for Cargo Operations in Africa, Khalid Hinai and hinted on the possibility of the deal.
Emirates Airlines, already operates a weekly cargo flight to Lilongwe-Malawi.
However, Malawi is unable to fully utilise the available space on the return flight because the country does not export much.
According to the Director of Civil Aviation at the Department of Civil Aviation, James Chakwera, there is no new information from the Emirates team on their intention to start, or rather add more services to Malawi.
“Malawi already has an Air Services Agreement with the United Arab Emirates, so any air operator from the Middle East country can launch flights to Malawi under the same and that carriers from Malawi can also operate to the UAE, for both passengers and cargo”, said Chakwera.
Chakwera has further indicated that once Malawi is able to produce more for export and conclude deals for supply of the same to the Middle East and beyond, there is possibility that Emirates Airlines will increase its flight frequency.
The development will mean an increase to the airline services in Malawi and others venturing into the market as well.
Chakwera is confident that with the various initiatives the government is pursuing in the agricultural sector, the country will see a lot of growth in exports which will automatically create demand for air services, especially for perishable goods.
This includes introduction of mega farms, improving quality of agri-produce and sustainability of supplies to prospective buyers and provision of necessary storage and processing facilities.