Malawi Airlines Limited unveiled: Ethiopia Airways buys substantial stake

Following the disbandment of the country’s airline, Air Malawi, government has unveiled a new airline Malawi Airline Limited to be run in partnership with strategic investors Ethiopian Airlines.

Public Private Partnership Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jimmy Lipunga disclosed about the new airline during a news conference in Blantyre on Tuesday, saying the joint venture will inject about$20 million (approximately K7 billion) investment.

Lipunga said based on the agreement, Malawi will have 51 percent stake in the new airline with Ethiopian Airlines getting the remaining 49 per cent. He said of the 51 per cent Malawi’s shareholding, 31 will be given out to interested Malawians to be part of the company.

“The strategic partnership has also provided opportunity for the country’s citizens to invest in the country’s new airline. Out of the 51 percent Malawi’s shareholding, 31 will be given out to interested local investors,” said Lipunga.

Lipunga:Call it Malawi Airlines Limited
Lipunga:Call it Malawi Airlines Limited

He added that Ethiopian Airlines would bring in two new aircrafts for Malawi Airline Limited.

Earlier this year, government through a private liquidator, disbanded troubled Air Malawi after years of struggling.

Introduction of the Malawi Airline Limited will easy challenges travellers have been facing when travelling in and out of the country.

The liquidator for Air Malawi recently disclosed that three aeroplanes for the defunct airline will be sold to any interested party.

The three planes are ATR 42 known as Shire, the Boeing 737-300 which was christened Kwacha and the Boeing 737-500 also popularly known as Sapitwa.

In an expression of interest notice published in press, the liquidator said the selling of the planes is part of his mandate to wind up Air Malawi’s operations and pay off all the parastatal’s debts.

The debts run in tens of millions of Kwacha.

Air Malawi for years saw delays, cancellation and suspension of scheduled flights. Currently there are no flights between Malawi’s major cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre.

“There is an additional concern that using the name Air Malawi could expose the new airline to predatory creditors who would wish to create embarrassment on the new airline,” Lipunga noted.

Lipunga said the new deal means the national flag carrier will be back on local, regional and international routes.

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