Malawi aviation in its worse crisis, no aircraft

Air transport in Malawi will be harder because the country now has no aircraft.

The country’s two Boeing; Kwacha and Sapitwa have been grounded in Johannesburg over one year now and the only plane which Air Malawi was chartering from South Africa has stopped operating because the company was making losses.

Air Malawi has no money to pay for the rehabilitation of the two planes.

Nyasa Times sources at Air Malawi confirmed that the company has terminated the contract with a South African aircraft company which was flying between Johannesburg and Blantyre and Lilongwe including other Malawian routes.

Air Malawi plane grounded

“The South African aircraft finishes its flights on Wednesday November 16 2011. Air Malawi was not making profits through chartering that plane. We do not have any plane now because the two Boeing aircrafts are also grounded. Worse still, our ATR 42 which has a 42 –passenger capacity is also grounded,” the official said.

In the dire situation, Air Malawi used to fly Malawi Defence Force Donnier to Zambia but the Donnier has also stopped flying to Lusaka.

“We are waiting to see how management will sort this out,” the official said.

The only known flight to Malawi is South African Airways which flies to Blantyre and Lilongwe on some days. There are also services from Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways .

Meanwhile many Malawians have expressed concern over the aviation crisis saying businesses will be greatly missed.

“We are in a fix. Where is this country going? Our businesses are affected by shortage of foreign currency and now we shall have problems to import with the little forex we get. Surely our economy will weaken further,” said a Lilongwe based businessman.

Air Malawi has been going through financial turbulence for a long time and government in 2007 wanted to sell it to Comair of South Africa.

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