New Malawi airline launches scheduled flights

By Andrew Nyayah, NyasaTimes

Nyasa Express Limited, trading as Ulendo Airlink, a partner of South Africa-based CFA Air Charters, a proudly Malawian owned airline, has secured a USD30 million (MK50 billion) liability cover for its aircraft, a development that ensures that the company meets and satisfy even the most demanding safety and service delivery criteria.

The new air companycommenced regular scheduled flight services between Malawi’s major commercial centres of Lilongwe and Blantyre from the beginning, having secured the required licenses and authority from the Ministry of Transport in April 2011.

“Our vision is to develop commercial aviation in keeping with governments’ strategy to improve transportation infrastructure and support for private sector initiatives,” the company Sales and Marketing manager Allan Mclellan, said.

Ulendo 's plane

The company says the market demand for additional capacity on this key route has grown enormously over the last year.

“We have developed our schedules to compliment services already offered by the national carrier, Air Malawi,” reads a statement from the company made available to Nyasa Times.

Ulendo Airlink will initially fly 7 times a week between Blantyre and Lilongwe, with 2 services each weekend linking both Lilongwe and Blantyre to Club Makokola while schedules to Likoma Island will offer passengers 6 frequencies each week.

“Aircraft operating on our routes have been selected for their proven reliability and performance record in Africa. We have intentionally launched services with smaller turbine aircraft selecting Cessna’s C208B Grand Caravan, offering 12 comfortable leather seats and a crew of two on all flights,” the statement said.

The airline  also intends to introduce additional frequencies to meet market demand before introducing a Dornier 228 (18 seat) and ultimately Embracer 120 (30 seat) aircraft as it builds its market support and develop its route network.

The company also says its close cooperation with key established operators in the Aviation sector, and the department of Civil Aviation, will make Malawi’s air transportation network to grow to meet the needs of both corporate and leisure travellers alike.

“Operating a successful commercial airline requires strong technical, operational and commercial support which we have received through our partnerships with South African based CFA Air Charters and Lilongwe’s Ulendo Travel Group,” the company said.

The South African based CFA Air Charters already operate an enormously successful scheduled and charter fleet in Mozambique as well as providing aircraft to a number of projects throughout Southern Central and West Africa.

“Their experience and professionalism have been integrated into Ulendo Airlinks services including regular independent safety audits by Hart Aviation and the Flight Safety Foundation enabling us to satisfy even the most stringent requirements for safe transport of executives, tourists and diplomats on our aircraft,” the company said.

Other routes are; Lilongwe to Mfuwe, an  international airport in eastern Zambia, three times a week.

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