Poor flight patronage worries Malawian Airlines, clocks a year

Malawian Airlines Limited has said despite clocking a year, the company is still unimpressed with patronage of flights on most of its routes, the company’s publicist Maganizo Mazeze has said.

Malawian Airlines

Malawian Airlines

Mazeze: Unimpressed with patronage

Mazeze: Unimpressed with patronage

But Mazeze, a journalist turned media relations manager, was hopeful of improvement in business saying it was possible only once started experiencing their services.

“We will make big business once people start appreciating the airline’s efficiency,” said Mazeze.

Of the routes with the most appalling patronage, Mazeze cited the three routes between Malawi and Mozambique, Malawi to Tanzania and another between Malawi to Zimbabwe.

Malawi Airlines was established in 2012 after the liquidation of Air Malawi which, at the time, had become a liability to the country’s economy.

A broker was made with Ethiopian Airlines which owns 49 per cent of the shares. The government of Malawi owns 51 per cent.

Government will offload 31 per cent of its stake to private investors, and expects to earn over US$ 6 million from the sale.

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32 thoughts on “Poor flight patronage worries Malawian Airlines, clocks a year”

  1. Saona Ndege says:

    Areas for improvement if to grow patronage:
    1. Maintain itinerary for LLW-JHB flight. It is perfect.
    2, keep up punctuality for LL-JHB flight but do not throw us to those last terminals of A0/A1 at OR Tambo Airport in Jozi. It is too far.
    3, Better marketing – first time I wanted to buy a ticket I had to call KIA,Chileka and Travel agent only to learn that MA is in Golden Peacock Office Park. When I got there the place and people didn’t feel like it was an Airline. The sales assistant is very amateurish, dressing is shabby.Increase your access presence and visibility ONLINE.
    4. Reduce your fares for BT-LL flights. It is cheaper to drive for a return trip at a total of K70,000
    5, Introduce rewards such as frequent flyer this year.
    6. Remove charges on changes on flights
    7. Charge in MK and not USD
    8. Introduce on board Duty Free Shopping

  2. Chirwa says:

    I use Malawian airlines in the domestic flight and South Africa. I used to pay over 1000 dollar for jo burg flight (round trip). Thanks to Malawian I now pay less than 500 dollar. This is a pride for us as a nation. We want to see the airline grow and reach to major airports like Kenyan and Ethiopian Airlines. It is always departing on time and the service is comparable with other airlines I have flown. I will continue to fly Malawian Airlines.

  3. John B says:

    The airline punctuality is high and very good. I’m happy that Malawian Airline is serving us conveniently as we can now connect via J’burg right after we arrive. I found the cabin crew being nice and customer oriented. I had seen few and minor irregularities but generally acceptable service. I frequently use their service and nothing to complain about seeing other airline big or small scrambling here and there. In fact I appreciate the airline for its effort to maintain its name. Viva Malawian Airlines!!

  4. Dingolinyo Mukwerabwato says:

    The airline started well bust fast being traditionalised. You should seriously look into the following otherwise you will follow Air Malawi to the collapse lane:

    1. Frequent breakdowns. An aeroplane is not a minibus where you change tyres, fix engines and lights while passengers are on board. I had the shock of my life when one of the flights main engines could not start on 17th December 2014 at KIA and engineers were trying to fix it while we were on board waiting to depart for Blantyre. In fact, the small craft is over used on domestic and short-haul routes like Mozambique, Harare etc such that there is no time for proper maintenance as required by international aviation requirements. It is scary to board that plane.

    2. Poor customer service. Your in-flight crew/hostesses favour certain public figures whom they give tea, coffee and beer/wine on board the Blantyre-Lilongwe route while the rest just watch like we are not customers enough even if we are the most frequent customers on that route. Treat all passengers with care! if you don’t give tea, fanta or juices, that should apply to all unless someone is sitting in Business Class or cockpit!

    3. Exorbitant and unstable prices. A return ticket on the Blantyre – Lilongwe route keeps fluctuating and going up even when the kwacha appreciates against the dollar. It is almost equal to fares to other international destinations like Lusaka, Harare etc on other airlines. Besides, why should someone pay $25 to change flight times yet your flights are always empty. I was shocked when I was asked to pay $25 to change my flight time from Lilongwe to Blantyre on 21 February 2015. Only to realize that there were only 3 of us on that flight (myself and my work colleague and one other passenger connecting from Dar es Salaam) – shame!

    4. Arrogant ground staff. Ground staff at Chileka are arrogant and make life hell for customers by shouting and ridiculing them whenever something is a miss i.e. baggage

    5. Punctuality. The airline has slacked on punctuality on Blantyre-Lilongwe early morning flight. Departure times keep changing like minibus without informing customers of the delay.

  5. sunderstar says:

    There is a lot of traffic between Lilongwe and Blantyre, Mzuzu every day. Managers from statutory corporations, NGO’S and Private Companies Diplomats keep moving between these cities everyday and they use their vehicles. Air Malawi need to come up with affordable fares to get their Aeroplanes full, make a clear flight schedule domestic. Unless you look seriuosly on your fares and be able to carry more passengers domestically you will again fold up. There is a lot of business in Malawi domestically but you are missing it out because your concentration is on international routes where there is competetion. Dont be expensive for the sake of it be serious with carrying more passengers to break even.

  6. Kenkkk says:

    From comments made here it seems air Malawi is just shooting itself on the foot and doesn’t know what it is doing wrong.

    Free advice had been given here which you need yo herd and implement. First your card prices are too high compared to other better reliable airlines in the region. Second, perfect the domestic routes of bt-Ll- mz- ka at affordable fares for the majority of the Middle classes and businesses before venturing into the international routes. Many malawians would want to travel to say kAronga by air than bus if your fares were affordable at say 50000k return, etc. Third, open up more domestic flights to lakeshore resorts such as mangochi. Fourth, be reliable and improve your services if you are to compete and attract customers. Fifth, talk the govt or your partners to improve the airport infrastructure such as chileka which has seen only deterioration since Kamuzu stopped ruling the country. Sixth, staff training from top to bottom on how to tun an airline.

  7. amp says:

    vuto lache mitengo yanuyo siikufanana ndi makasitomala amene angakwanitse. your problem is you target rich people who can afford kukwera ET or KA or SAA. man up and wear a real new face. So long as you can be dull and dormant forget our patronage. nafenso tinachangamuka, cost-benefit analysis tikuidziwa masiku ovuta ano.

  8. wadala says:

    Malawian airlines reaaly worried with poor patronage? Shame indeed who can patronize it when fares are exorbitant, customer care and PR zero? Tizikwera Emirates ndi zina value for money basi.

  9. manja lende says:

    what ever

  10. John says:

    why don’t you expend the Tanzania flight into Nairobi? Kenya airways flies to Lilongwe twice every day and into Blantyre three times every week. come on, extend the services to JKIA.

  11. Djomba says:

    I always say that the problems with us Malawians is that we were taught by our parents to work very hard in school. We are taught by teachers and lecturers who also worked very hard. We are still telling our children to work very hard in school and so on the problem goes on. No creativity and thought is mentioned in our work environments. So Malawi Airlines has the marketing department headed by people who worked very hard on school and cannot think not at all….

  12. Njokaluzi says:

    No wander they have low patronage. Their flights are very expensive.

  13. mwana mulopwana says:

    How can you expect patronage when your flights are very expensive as compared with SAA, You need to seat down and plan, I recently made an online booking with SAA but before that I checked on your website , what I saw was very strange JNB-LLW return was USD1457 and when I asked someone to book for me at your office the one way flight was 197000MK and the return was coming to MK402,000, I checked with SAA I bought ticket at MK297000 return so please compare the difference and tell us if you want to be supported, Learn to be proactive just the way AirMalawi and Capt Mchungula was doing, as of now it when I understood the offload AirMalawi was a gamble , I for one I have supported AirMalawi to the extent that if my company bought me SAA flight I was changing at OR Tambo and I was giving lame excuses to SAA officials just to give opportunity to AirMalawi and iwas in the frequent flyer koma inu if you keep on this trend forget to be supported.

    If you want to be assisted make your flight tickets cheaper even if you make it MK50,000 less then you will see how passengers will follow you

    This is free advice Mr Mazeze

  14. mtumbuka wopusa says:

    As long as your airport of entry is CHILEKA to and from Jburg . Forget patronage

  15. The one says:

    Another white elephant! We really need to push the reset button on everything in this country.

  16. Tengupenya says:

    ma fare munanyanya… pricing model yanu is as if you do not know your market ngati mukulira ndi patronage. If you want higher patronage then drop the fare to the appropriate level. if your fares will be close to your established competitors like SAA, then you will play second choice airline to the established competitors.

  17. ujeni says:

    When are you going to listen and how hard is it to understand. Your fares are just too high. Lilongwe to Harare is like flying from one continent to another, Paris to New York. Reduce the fares and you will see, learn from that Irish Airline

  18. Jammy says:

    Flights are too expensive hence why most people won’t afford.

  19. mulibwanji? says:

    Malawian Airlines is one of the best. They got an award as one of the most punctual airlines at OR Tambo. Lets patronise this airline. Even locally here, am quite impressed with your punctuality and efficiency. Keep it up.

  20. Mphwache says:

    Where can Malawians fly? We don’t have money bwana. Even Coach tinasiya kukwera, timakwera UDK.

  21. wanangwa says:

    Poor advertising, expensive,

  22. MBC says:

    Improve on your marketing strategy.

  23. Godfrey Banda says:

    Malawi Government does not pay ngongole to businesses it owes and how can people manage ndege, pitani ku ma bus anthu akudzadza jonijoni. The economy of our country is very small. Bus is K50,000 return, ndege K300,000 bola bus amwene

  24. Godfrey Banda says:

    Malawi Government does pay ngongole to businesses it owes and how can people manage ndege, pitani ku ma bus anthu akudzadza jonijoni. The economy of our country is very small. Bus is K50,000 return, ndege K300,000 bola bus amwene

  25. mary says:

    Ur flights are way too expensive.

  26. mary says:

    Ur flights are way expensive.

  27. Chabecheker says:

    The airline should consider to develop local routes as well such as blantyre – lilongwe – mzuzu – karonga – mangochi on daily or some days basis at competitive fares in order to attract more passengers

  28. Vwatapu says:

    Malawians don’t have enough money to cater for luxurious trips to destinations abroad. We are poor. We cannot afford enjoying outings with our own families.ndiye munene zokwela ndege. Abale, ndalama tizitenga kuti? Ife wathu ndi Munorurama yemweyo. Kusauka uku.

  29. Guley says:

    Go and learn from the budget airlines in Britain. Their flights are judt too cheap. Nanunso bwenzi mutangoti flight between blantyre n Mzuzu, 50,000. Bwenzi ka 100 seater kakupanga 1,000,000 return. komainu mmafuna kudulisa ticket 150000 koma ma passenger awiri. Ku Malawi ngati munthu wakwera ndege ndiyekuti akupita kunja ndipo bungwe lamulipirira. Tokha sitingakwanise

  30. The Truthful One from the West says:

    This is some of the evidence that Malawi is the poorest country in the world. Most Malawians cannot afford an airticket. Did they conduct a survey for those routes where they are not having a good patronage or they opened the routes hoping that patronage would follow?

  31. Oponyo says:

    The airline is inefficient, always not on time n today’s flight has been cancelled. No guarantee kuti u will arrive @ your destination safely, travel @ your own risk. All the aircrafts are rotten especially the ATR mmmmm

  32. moya says:

    Ur prices are just too high for the poorest nation on earth. Kabaza and bus basi for now. Ndege is for the cashgate people. Zikawathela mulowela kwa air malawi…kupeleka ma ticket a ngongole until u go bankrupt

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