Malawi govt hits back at FastJet airliner: ‘They have failed’

Minister of Transport Francis Kasaira has hit back at FastJet, telling the airliner not to attribute it business failures to government.

Kasiala: Fastjet have failed and should not balme it on Malalwi

Kasiala: Fastjet have failed and should not balme it on Malalwi

Fatjet stops Malawi route

Fatjet stops Malawi route

Kasaira was responding to FastJet’s assertion that it was leaving the skies of Malawi because of the fast nose diving of the kwacha and government failure to grant the airliner a licence to land at Chileka airport in Blantyre.

“They should just say they have failed in business instead of finding the government as scapegoat. Their fares were too low to sustain in the airline business. They had very few passengers. They thought by offering low fares they would attract more passengers but this never happened,” said the blunt talking Kasaira.

The airline offered K40000 as fare from Kamuzu international airport in Lilongwe to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, over K100000 normal price.

“We wondered how the company would survive with such low fares and few passengers but as government we would not tell them to raise the fares,” said the minister.

He parried away reports that the government refused the airliner permission to land at Chileka as way of protecting Malawians airlines where government has a substantial stake.

He said few airlines land at Chileka because of the bad condition of the airport.

“The airport is not in good condition, that is why we allow a few airlines to land there. We need to improve the runways and terminal buildings,” said Kasaira.

He said the government is simply abiding to aviation laws not protecting the interests of Malawian airlines formerly Air Malawi, the pride of Africa.

The minister ruled out granting permission to land at Chileka even if it rescinds its decision to suspend flying in the skies of Malawi.

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31 thoughts on “Malawi govt hits back at FastJet airliner: ‘They have failed’”

  1. Pk says:

    They have not failed. You have failed. Ho maybe they did not employed one of your sena cousins. Hence their failure.

  2. Namila says:

    when are you going to improve the condition of your airport mister? Honestly Malawi ka Chileka airport kukukanikani! I have been going to Malawi for the past three years but the Chileka airport is still in a sorry state. Poor Malawi! That country should be sold to anyone who can manage it! Shame on you people!

  3. Dikisan says:

    Asena, Savala pant. Check them please KKKK!

  4. PenPusher says:

    I stand to be corrected on this but fastjet has just clinched a deal with Zimbabwe and South Africa governments to fly their skies from Johannesburg to Harare and Vic Falls. This is a recent deal, so the Malawi government should own up for it’s failure to create a conducive environment for investment in this regard. Fastjet is really a pro-poor airline and it’s fares are very reasonable. Competition enhances better service delivery.

  5. Andrew Kazombo says:

    I v knw Fastjet as one of the cheapest airliners in the East African region…by operating in Malawi,there was no exceptional case. In most cases you would not get a seat to Dar on a short booking. The economic situation is not good for business.

  6. Ninkawa ameneyo says:

    Every where in the world you find cheap fares, for example one can fly from Berlin to Rome with only Euro 19 what do you want to say. Mwaononga boma apa. Taonani Road Traffic when you get out of that seat the road traffic will follow you. Primary

  7. 20 Jan 2016 says:

    Am very disappointed with the minister’s responce! It could have been better if you could remain silent. What type of investers are you looking for if you are happy to see the already established investor packing? What is Mw gvt doing to arrest the falling of the Kwacha? Find solutions please and never fight with investors, you are discarding the image of the already dented image of Malawi gvt. Its the same reason why the west cant trust Peter becoz of how he handled the Foreign Affairs Ministry when his bro chased the British ambassador in 2011. Being a Cabinet Minister means Advisor to the President

  8. China msolo china nzeru says:

    Ba Kasaila you have let Malawians down and especially us the Senas, how can a big man like you talk such bull as you never went to school. You are an an embarassment to the Senas and the nation as a whole.

  9. China solo China nzeru says:

    Ba Kasaila you let have let Malawians and and made us Senas look foolish, senseless and clueless. How can a big man and somebody who went to school talk such bull. You are an embarrassment to the Senas and the country as a whole.

  10. Truth says:

    Did Fast Jet experience low patronage? as far as i know i personally have been failing to get a seat to Dar at short notice. You had to book a month in advance. If it is about fares, they could have just raised fares proportinately to drop in value of kwacha. Even if it hit K80,000 by now, no complaint. Something not adding up here.

  11. Mugonapamhanya says:

    Of course some companies should learn to tell the truth. I think they did feasibility study before they launched their business here. Did they find Kwacha to be a stable currency at that time? They are behaving like Peoples Trading Centre in Malawi. PTC has Std 8 and JCE Holders as top managers. In this day and age, they still import South African Whites as expatriates and they always steal billions from the company in broad day light. Not long ago a billions of Kwachas were stolen by a S African CEO and it was business as usual. Top management is milking the company thru dubious transactions and today they are closing down their old fashioned grocery shops and blaming it on the economy of the country.

  12. Benson Jere says:

    A kusaila kunena kwa ndithendithe nanthambwe anadzitengera.

  13. gwamula says:

    Please leave FK alone. He knows what he is saying. Fastjet has not done that in good faith. So no need to entertain their shit.Let them pack and go to Taifaland. Useless.What type of investor can be a Taifa. Mbuzi yachabe chabe iyi. They did not qualify to operate at Chileka airport at all. Bye the so called fastjet if not slowjet. A Malawi bwanji, ndi Tanzania yomwe izinyoza Malawi.

  14. grace bula says:

    A Khamula, apart from the substantive comments by others, I would like to take this opportunity to kindly urge you to read widely before misinforming leaders. Air Malawi was at no point called the Pride of Africa but instead the Friendly airline. I suppose you were too young at the time, the Pride of Africa remains Kenya airways.

  15. Kanyeramboma says:

    1.fares were too low?
    2. They had few passengers?
    So Malawians would prefer exorbitant fares to low fares, does this make economic sense?
    Any justification as to why we don’t want Fastjet to land at Chileka.

    Malawi @ 2016 cry my beloved country.

  16. paul says:

    It is a sad day when a government Minister does not know what he is talking about. Are there any educated PR guys advising these politicians in the country. The airline’s Low Cost model has been detailed in so many papers even a JC student can google to access it.
    Instead, such statements serve only to deny citizens cheap travel as incumbent airlines assume competition has been defeated. If they had encouraged the low cost operators, eventually the incumbent airlines would have been forced to reduce their fares to remain in the market.

  17. Mtondoli Jonazi says:

    Bwana Kutsaira, I have got a few questions for you:
    1. Kodi munayendetsapo business ya ndege to say FastJet failed because their fares were too low?
    2. As government, did you for example try to investigate the claims FastJet mentioned?
    3. How come FastJet, with similar fare structures, still operates (at a profit) in East Africa, to Johanesburg and other destinations.
    4. Do you understand the concept of a low-cost air carrier?
    5. Do you disagree that the Kwacha is free-falling?

    What you should have done, as government, was to sit down with the airline and find a way to address their concerns. Of course there would possibly have not been a quick fix for the free-falling Kwacha, which I strongly feel is the major issue for their withdrawal, but it would have helped to be on friendly terms with the airline so they can return to the skies when the Kwacha stabilizes and they think they can make a profit.

    Inuyo bwana Kutsaira boma limakulipirilani ndenge zodula and I doubt if you would be happy to fly coach (as I do and as I think several small-scale business people do). The withdrawal of FastJet, if you did not know bwana, is a huge set-back to enafe because now instead of 2 hours kukagula zinthu za biziness ku TZ, tizitenga nthawi pa basi, as a result contributing slow-growth to the already STAGNANT economy. How come you can’t see that?

    For your information: check out the following airlines: Mango, Kulula, Skywise, FlySafair, (in South Africa), FastJet etc. Their air fares are way below what you would think possible for an airline and your argument of FastJet being too cheap goes out of the window. Unless you meant too cheap for your deep pockets.

    Bwana Kutsaira, low-cost airline carriers are a reality and they work. Ku Malawi ngati tifuna kutsalira let us try to embrace them. Let business people run their business(es) and you must run the government – do not interfere. Just help create a condusive environment for businesses and that is what is going to help the country stop relying on foreign aid.


  18. Lloyd says:

    Kutsaira should not appear to be clever here. The fact that KQ, ET & SAA are still flying to Malawi does not imply that things are okay in Malawi. These airlines pile bills all over their network in fuel, landing / parking, overflying, reservations systems etc and these bills are mostly in USD. As such, an ideal condition for an airline is to quickly convert their local currency sales into USD and repatriate to their head offices for settlement of these bills. Now, the Malawi scenario has a double blow. You sell in Kwachas which will take over 12 months to be repatriated abroard due to forex scarcity. That means your liquidity is affected. Secondly, the depreciation of the local currently makes your pricing model ineffective because by the time you will be able to repatriate, the value of that amount will be far less in real terms. Trust me, at this pace, its just a matter of time before the legacy carriers still landing there will also raise their eyeblows. For now, they can cover their losses through their huge network but for how long can they allow a market to bleed? Kutsaira and the DPP should be apologetic rather than being militant. They have denied Malawians their most effective way of commuting to DAR by air.

  19. The Analyst says:

    You see, the problem of having a rat for a leader is that you are likely to have a mouse for a minister of information or minister of transport.

    And I quickly quote . . .

    “The airport is not in good condition. That’s why we allow few aeroplanes to land there . . . .”

    Who but a drunkard finds pleasure in discrediting or tarnishing the image of another by discrediting or tarnishing their own image without realising it? Are you sure you find nothing wrong with you standing there without even a scintilla of shame, and declaring that the airport is in bad shape?; without any commitment to reshape it?

    Who doesn’t know but only a bogus doctor at QECH; that many fatal diseases like cancer, cardiac arrest are a process that start as harmless abnormalities but develop into something else, if left unchecked?
    What has your govt done about the bad state of the airport, thus far; if not next to nothing?; but watch as the airport slowly gets dilapidated?

    Who doesn’t know, but an accountant/economist from a bogus college in town; that more often than not, the cost of maintaining something is lower than the cost of acquiring a new one? Do we have to wait for the airport to collapse for your govt to realise it needs maintenance?

    Now, with this glaring and untold level of myopia and mediocrity, are we surprised we are the poorest spot in the whole universe?

  20. Economic Commentator says:

    Fastjet has not failed. It is still thriving in other African countries. It is Mr. Kasaira and incompetent Government that has failed to run the economy and attract investors. This failure will send bad signals to other prospective investors that wanted to come to the country of black outs, rising inflation and a tumbling currency and millions of impoverished citizens! It seems Mr Kasaira is not well exposed and had not travelled overseas. Companies such as Ryan Air, Easy Jet, Vielling, offer even lower fairs than Fastjet and they have not gone bust. Government should have allowed Fastjet to land at Chileka to reach a bigger population. The benefits in terms of tourism and business could far outweigh the costs. TZ attracts millions of tourists and our strategy should be to offer good packages to entice them to also visit Malawi. Tourists generally travel on cheap flights like Fastjet. You don’t expect to attract tourists with Air Malawi fares of £500 just for a 2 hour flight to Johannesburg!

  21. mbani says:

    poor country poor strategist

  22. kachaje says:

    So when are you improving the runway at chileka. You are such a shame Minister… Chileka should be closed by now!!!

  23. Bin la Den Mutharika says:

    Katsaira ndiwe mbuzi wamva ndipo ndiwe chitsiru chamunthu,,, ukuona poti iweyo ukukwera ndege zaulere ndi misonkho yathu wati unyoze a Fastjet, nanga kwawoko amatha bwanji kutchipitsa ndege zawo? ndipo uli ndi mngono wako ku MRA Mchinji round about, ukungomupatsa ma contract mwakatangale mbuzi yamano kunsi iwe

  24. paul says:

    It is time Government realises there mistakes, this airline cannot cope with Kwacha devaluation, they also need more passengers to fill the plane so needed to also go to Blantyre, Also PTC 20 shops have closed Airtel is retrenching staff. You cannot solve the mistakes if you dont accept so make sure to accept the mistakes and correct them. Just defending on every issue does not make sense

  25. Viyazi Tembo says:

    illiterate minister, instead of pleading with fastjet,you are talking bull**** get a life man

  26. Ineyo says:

    So, you did not give them permission to land at chileka because the airport is not in good condition; whose fault is it that chileka is in bad condition? Who should bd blamed?
    You ridicule an airline for charging lower prices, serously? What a bunch of fools governing this country, clueless idiots.

  27. wozitsata says:

    Kasaila you better shut up.
    Your govt is a failure, Easyjet is a low cost airliner and I am sure they did their homework before entering the Malawi market.
    Why didnt you grant them a licence for BT to LL route? Protecting your failing Malawian Airlines?

    Besides low patronage is because you are failing us so we cant afford koma tizikwela TAQWA zoona

  28. 2016 welcome says:

    It’s either Katsaira is a moron or he thinks we are. Who can seriously take garbage of talk from his stinking mouth?

  29. concerned and patrotic malawian says:

    I don’t think minister Katsaira is being honest here, Fast jet was full in most cases and difficult to secure a seat on its scheduled flights. This Government is not a listening one. How can we improve if always we are on the defensive always ? I cry for my beloved county Malawi

  30. kanganya says:

    mwawakhomelera poti zawo zimatchipa…inu muli ndima shares mu mw airlines dats y mumawakaniza route ya blantyre wich is the commercial capital meaning ma customers ambiri….akapolo inu mungofuna kulemera nokha thru stifling the competition

  31. I think this government is plank, imagine mocking investors in that way, every company that opperates across boarders requires stability of exchange, imagine kwacha falling twice againest $. And the government instead of moving your fucken asses to fix the mess you are here castigating investers

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