An Air Malawi morning flight from Blantyre to Lilongwe on Monday made U-turn minutes after take-off, causing panic to passengers as they suspected it had developed a serious fault while airborne.
But Air Malawiâ€™s tariffs and industry affairs manager Tony Chimpukuso disclosed in an interview that the pilot of the aircraft was responding to advanced warning systems (AWS), information displayed on a safety gadget that displays a pending fault to occur.
Chimpukuso said: â€œThe pilot was responding to that warning. It was a bad experience to our passengers because some of them had scheduled meetings in Lilongwe and others were going to attend to some pressing issues. But the pilot had no option, that was the only safer way.â€
Sources at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre said some passengers, who panicked over the development, did not hide their bitterness as they complained to the cabin crew how risky and inconveniencing it was.