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