Up to 243 employees of Air Malawi Limited have been laid off as part of the government’s restructuring of the company, currently being overseen by the Privatization Commission.
Air Malawi has functioned at below capacity due to financial challenges and operated with leased equipment which has proved expensive for the airline.
The company has been liquidated awaiting formation of new Air Malawi 2012 with a strategic partner.
Air Malawi chief executive officer Patrick Chilambe confirmed about the job cuts, saying it is part of “restructuring.”
Staff union president Clement Chilenje said liquidator hired by Privatisation Commission has since informed the retrenched staff on how government will pay out their money.
Accountant Lekani Katandula was appointed liquidator of Air Malawi Limited and would be responsible for settlement of liabilities as well as overseeing the transfer of assets into Air Malawi (2012) Limited.
A brief on Air Malawi indicates that two of the current three crafts have been grounded for the past four years due to lack of funding.
Both planes require mandatory checks and engine overhaul.
Privatisation Commission Chief Executive officer Jimmy Lipunga has said a new partner to Air Malawi will be announced soon.
The bidding companies are Ethiopian Airlines, Alpha and Omega of South Africa, Globe business network of Botswana, Fly Africa of South Africa and Air Express Limited of Malawi.