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.
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.