South African Airways set to resume Malawi flights through Chileka Airport Feb 2

South African Airways (SAA) says it is set to  resume its Blantyre operations  this weekend after concerns by South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) that Chileka International Airport has serious safety risks have been addressed.

Chileka International Airport in Blantyre

The annual inspection had exposed several issues of non-compliance and these include the airport’s perimeter fence that was vandalised.

But  SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said after thet  suspended operations to Blantyre they  dispatched personnel from their  head office to “ augment our staff in Blantyre to attend to the audit findings to ensure compliance with our licensing conditions.” s

The airline, working together with the Malawian authorities as well as stakeholders such as the Malawian Ministry of Transport and the Blantyre City Council , implemented the required interventions to return the airport to expected levels for safe operations.

“The airline advises customers that the airline is likely to resume flights between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi on Saturday, 2 February 2019,” said the SAA.

SAA  has since notified SACAA that the remedial interventions have been implemented.

“We  now await SACAA inspection of the airport and demonstration to them that we have successfully implemented required interventions as per our corrective action plan. Until measures put in  place meet the satisfaction of SACAA, our operations between Johannesburg and Blantyre will remain suspended.”

SAA operates a three weekly service between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).

The airline said the inspection will take place on Wednesday, with the airline optimistic that the regulator will be satisfied with the measures implemented.

Menwhile, Malawi is set to have a new company to work alongside a new body, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), to operate all public airports in the country includinh Chileka on commercial basis.

In 2017, Parliament approved the new Civil Aviation Act that authorises the establishment of the CAA to operate independently in line with international standards.

Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure spokesperson James Chakwera disclosed alongside the creation of the CAA, which will be the regulator of the aviation sector in the country, government will also establish an airports company to manage and operate all public airports.

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Kalekeni Kanene
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Kalekeni Kanene

The suspension of SSA flights between Johannesburg and Blantyre should continue as it gives the Malawian Airways an advantage to make more money. SAA is a very selfish organisation. It has no power to tell our aviation authorities what to do. Here I can see SAA beating the drum, Malawi government Aviation Authority dancing to it. Now they are intending to resume the operations. Its not that their concerns have been addressed, but they have no choice since their airline is almost bankrupt, and it survives through government bailouts in billions of rands. Closing the Chileka route was was like… Read more »

Tchuma
Guest
Tchuma

I guess you don’t know what you are talking about as regards aviation safety regulations. I grew up in chileka and I personally know the state of the perimeter fence and the fact that there isn’t a fire machine let alone an ambulance. I have been so lucky to have traveled a lot around African countries as well as Europe and Asian countries unfortunately our standards are so low that its pathetic to call chileka airport an international Airport it does not even qualify to became one. In fact on African standards its on KIA that might qualify. Let’s face… Read more »

CHOKA SATANA
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this is not an international airport to be proud of in this century !!

Mirella K
Guest
Mirella K

ADL, CAA and an Operator, 3 entities for the two small airports of KIA and Chileka? Ooh amangwetu!