Kenya Airways has received approval from Malawi Government to begin flying into Chileka Airport in Blantyre effective June 3, 2013.
In a letter to the airline from Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Moffat Chitimbe, Kenya Airways was also given approval to resume 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on the Lilongwe-Lusaka sector.
“I am pleased to convey government’s approval for your operations into Chileka Airport, Blantyre, and the exercise of 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on the Lilongwe-Lusaka sector as per your filed schedules effective 3rd June, 2013,” reads the letter in part.
The approval of the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Kenya and Malawi in 2008, which allows collaborative arrangements between designated carriers of both countries for their mutual benefit. Currently, Malawi has no national carrier making Kenya Airways the second operator after Ethiopian Airways.
Receiving the good news, Kenya Airways group managing director and chief executive officer Titus Naikuni, thanked both the Kenya and Malawi governments for facilitating the approvals.
“We are delighted to get these approvals which will enable us to enhance our presence in the Southern African country while also supporting the development of the region through provision of efficient air transport services,” said Naikuni.
The granting of the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights allows Kenya Airways to pick up passengers in Lusaka and drop them in Lilongwe and vice-versa.
Kenya Airways flies 10 times every week to Lilongwe and will soon announce its schedule into Blantyre.
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to over 59 destinations worldwide, 40 of which are in Africa and carries over three million passengers annually.
A 41 aircraft fleet is one of the most modern in Africa. The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10.
In 2010, it scooped top awards at the Africa Investor (Ai) Tourism Investor Awards and was declared the Business Airline of the Year in Africa.