Malawian Airlines forced to return to KIA after Chileka Airport runway closure

Passengers told Nyasa Times on Wednesday that a Malawian Airline was forced to return to Lilongwe due to a closed runaway at Blantyre-Chileka International Airport.

Discomfort passengers of Malawian Airlines on Wednesday. Photo by Nyasa Times correspondent

Plane returned to Lilongwe at KIA about  40 minutes after take-off.-Photo by Nyasa Times correspondent

The passengers were left frustrated on Malawian Airlines flight ET 20 as the flight was delayed for departure from Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe and then forced to return.

The flight was scheduled to depart at 8am for South Africa via Blantyre but left soon after 8:25am  only cabin crew informaing passengers that there will be a delayed landing for 9:20am in Blantyre.

The announcement said this was due to a closed runway undergoing maintenance at Chileka.

Upon approaching Chileka International Airport in Blantyre,everything seemed fine until the  Captain announced that they will be turning the flight back to Lilongwe as runway was still closed and that there would be a two hour plus wait in Lilongwe.

“The pilot made an announcement requesting senior cabin crew, and we knew something was a bit odd,” one passenger, a businessman, told Nyasa Times.

Upon landing at Kamuzu international airport in Lilongwe the crew announced for all passengers to disembark the flight. As passengers were getting reading they were then informed that the runway was now open and would be flying back Blantyre.

Passengers were irate with the poor communication by the flight crew who kept blaming Chileka staff but not providing any good customer service to the passengers.

One air hostess was heard and seen arguing with a passenger sitting in Seat 13c and 13L who were upset with the delay and she was seen speaking aggressively.

A passenger could not hide his frustration, saying Malawians need another domestic airline to enhance competition.

The airline’s public relation officer Joseph Josiah could not immediately comment.

Malawian Airlines Limited is a joint venture between Ethiopian Airlines and Malawi Government.

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I was on this flight from Lilongwe to Blantyre. Captian Masi was so open and told us on board that they have received information from ADL ground personnel that there is work currently being done at chileka airport and will have to delay until 9 when work is complete. The captian came back and said that the work is now complete and we are ready to go. Announcement was then made by the cabin crew and said we are now starting descent to chileka . Some minutes later the captain came back and announced that there is some communication breakdown… Read more »

This is Malawi. Di Phi Phi gofament




Malawi is become a land of torture.


I have had similar problems on an other flight
just could not get the crew to answer my simple
questions Do You Have cheese on board?
they are rude


my fellow malawians! i assume we are talking about Runway here not RunAway! kakakakaka! wavuta ndi utolankhani paMalawi


Sazatheka a Malawi too much mediocrity.

Don’t be surprised. This is how Ethiopians do business, they have no admirable standards. If you have been to Addis Ababa, despite being home to African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) of the UN the city is an eye sore – it is probably the dirtiest city in Africa by any standards. In short ndi anthu a ubve. I see no reason to blame staff at Chileka because before departure the pilot establishes proper contacts with responsible staff at the airport of arrival. This is not good for business because they are avoiding to take a collective… Read more »

This issue has nothing to do with Ethiopians. Malawian airlines flights are flown by Malawian pilots. It’s just the planes that belong to Ethiopian airlines. My experience with Ethiopian airlines is that it is a professionally run business and I have never experienced unexplained delays with them .


How is this Ethiopia’s fault when it could very well be Malawi staff at fault? At least Ethiopia has a functioning Airline. Ours went bankrupt years ago. As Malawians let’s be careful ; there are very few countries on this planet we can throw insults at. I haven’t even had power for almost 2 days now.


I am failing to understand why the blame is going to Malawian Airways when it is very clear that even the captain and cabin crew were equally disappointed with the communication breakdown caused by the managers of the airport.

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