Malawi and Zimbabwe will have direct flights between them following the official resuscitation of a bilateral agreement dating back to 2004 when Malawi’s flag carrier Air Malawi was still limping into oblivion.
“Despite Air Malawi problems, government is working tirelessly to ensure that its done, Malawian Airlines is back on the wings by the end of the year,” Malawi’s Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia said.
While Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affair Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the signing of the agreement will create capacity demand and allow greater market access to support growth and competition in the aviation sector.
The two countries on Friday signed a bilateral agreement on the sidelines of the SADC summit in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe.
Malawi government recently liquidated Air Malawi after became bankrupt and unviable.
At the moment there are no direct flights to either Harare or Lilongwe and one to take a circuitous route (minimum three to four hours) either through Johannesburg, South Africa, Lusaka Zambia and Nairobi, Kenya, which has proved expensive.
A direct flight to either Lilongwe or Harare takes 50 minutes.
Mia then hailed the agreement saying it remains the main catalyst for regional integration and globalization by facilitating the movement of people and good.