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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :