SA Airways eyes schedule increase in Malawi

South African Airways (SAA) has said it is seriously looking at the possibility of increasing its flights frequency between South Africa and Malawi.

SAA’s country manager James Chikaonda said this during the airline’s sponsored programme broadcast Tuesday Malawi’s private radio Capital FM.

He said research is underway to determine the viability of increasing flights into Malawi.

“It has not yet come to the executive drawing board but research is ongoing to see if we can fly 7 times into Blantyre and 7 times to Lilongwe but we will also have to consider all the legally binding agreements on trade and thereafter a decision will be made,” said Chikaonda.

He said SAA has introduced a direct 16 hour flight from Joburg to New York and that from January 31, 2012 another long-haul 15 hour flight to Beijing from OR Tambo in South Africa.

“We value our passengers’ time and SAA will always be on schedule because time is money those travelling to New York and Beijing must now be assured that we will get them there and on time,” Chikaonda said.

This is the first time SAA has publicly came with such a stand especially when their competitor on the route, Air Malawi, is no longer servicing the Joburg route due to non-availability of aircraft.

Travellers continue to complain of having no choice since all SAA flights to and from Malawi have been booked up to February next year.

If SAA brings in more flights into Malawi, it will mean they will fully capitalise on the demand which has increased because of Air Malawi’s absence on the market.

Other travellers has also bemoaned SAA’s high airfares which are K150, 000 a return ticket against K70, 000 offered by Air Malawi.

The gap of flights to Joburg is said to affect Air Malawi as 60 percent of the national flag carrier’s revenue is being lost daily.

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