Malawian Airlines commences Harare flight

Barely a week after launching its local flight between Lilongwe and Blantyre, Malawian Airlines has now crossed the domestic boarders by introducing the Harare route.

The Airlines successfully celebrated its inaugural domestic flight from Lilongwe to Blantyre and back last week using the newly acquired Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

And the Lilongwe-Harare via Blantyre maiden flight started Monday this week and the Airline became the latest to land in Zimbabwe.

Malawian Airlines Spokesperson, Maganizo Fly Mazeze- Pic Lucky Mkandawire
Malawian Airlines Spokesperson, Maganizo Fly Mazeze- Pic Lucky Mkandawire

“We will be flying to Harare three times a week. We know the load is small but it will eventually peak,” Mazeze told Nyasa Times.

In the route, the Airlines is using the Bombardier Q400 which arrived in Malawi from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week.

The introduction of the route has eased air travellers’ hassles they encounter when connecting Malawi and Zimbabwe  as there was no direct air link between the two countries and passengers had to go through Johannesburg, South Africa.

Speaking to Zimbabwean media after the opening flight, Garikayi Garande, director of CFX, a local company that represents Malawian Airlines in that country, observed the move was a positive step towards boosting confidence into the tourism sector.

“Our tourism sector has been subjected to attacks from the hostile western media, and the coming in of Malawian Airlines will play a critical part towards developing the sector,” said Garande.

Meanwhile, Mazeze has said the Airlines will inaugurate its flagship Lilongwe-Blantyre-Johannesburg route on 17th February, 2014 together with the Lusaka and Dar es Salaam.

“The Lilongwe-Johannesburg via Blantyre route will give passengers a unique travelling experience and the greatest choice and convenience for international connectivity to the region and the outer world,” Mazeze said in statement.

He said the airline was convinced that the introduction of the regional flights would compel surface travelers to begin flying, which is very convenient than driving.

Malawian Airlines has acquired two new generation aircrafts, the 67-passenger capacity Bombardier (already serving the Lilongwe-Blantyre and Harare routes) and the Boeing 737-800 (yet to arrive in Malawi) which will be servicing the Lilongwe-Johannesburg via Blantyre route on a daily basis.

The new generation Boeing 737-800 airplane, which is less than two years in operation, has two-class configuration of business and economy with a capacity of 154 passengers.

This will be the first time that both Lilongwe and Blantyre will have daily flights into Johannesburg, one of Africa’s busiest connecting hubs to the rest of the world.

Under its tagline ‘From the Warm Heart of Africa’, the Malawian Airlines offers world class on-ground and in-flight services, and provides extremely competitive fares on the market.

Mazeze said ticketing on the new routes of Johannesburg, Lusaka and Dar es Salaam has already started at the company sales points and other travel agents in Lilongwe (Golden Peacock Shopping complex) and Blantyre in Chibisa House.

Malawian Airlines was established under a strategic partnership agreement, which has seen Ethiopian Airlines providing the two aircrafts as part of its 49 percent shareholding in the company while the Malawi Government is providing working capital for its initial operations. Government has a 51 percent stake.

The airline was awarded its Air Operator Certificate from the country’s Department of Civil Aviation to start both domestic and international flights following the securing of traffic rights to destinations it proposed to be flying to.

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