Malawian Airlines Limited has said it will go flat out to explore a number of regional routes to ease transportation challenges being faced by travellers in the region.
The company’s public relations officer, Maganizo Mazeze, said in an interview after the launch of the daily flights from Lilongwe to Johannesburg, South Africa via Blantyre on a new generation 154-seater Boeing 737-800 that regional connection hurdles will soon be history.
The daily Johannesburg-bound flight will be departing at 8:00 hours from Kamuzu International Airport via Chileka Airport and back to Chileka around 15:00 hours before proceeding to Lilongwe.
Mazeze said they are receiving overwhelming support on the Johannesburg route, adding that on the maiden flight, they flew over 60 passengers.
“We are excited that finally we have started the Johannesburg flight and the feedback has also been encouraging. We will be flying every day from Lilongwe to Johannesburg and this is the first time to have daily flights to one of Africa’s busiest connecting hubs to the rest of the world,” he said.
Passengers have since hailed Malawian Airlines for its good services and reception, describing them as exceptional.
Mazeze said in the coming weeks, they will commence flights to Maputo, Beira and Tete in Mozambique, apart from flights to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Lusaka in Zambia.
Malawian Airlines Limited, a partnership with Ethiopian Airlines (ET) which holds 49 percent stake, has touted the introduction of the Johannesburg route coupled with others, arguing it will compel surface travellers to begin flying on the national flag carrier than driving.
The airline began its daily flights between Lilongwe and Blantyre at the end of January and later to Harare in Zimbabwe on a 67-seater Bombardier Q400.
The Malawi Government has 51 percent stake in the new airline with 31 percent to be offered to Malawian individuals and companies within the next 12 months while the rest is held by it strategic partner ET.
Malawian Airlines is carrying its tagline of ‘From the Warm Heart of Africa’ determined to market the country as the ideal tourism destination and for doing business.
Thus far, the company has recruited 46 employees with six pilots and 15 cabin crew and the rest are in maintenance, sales and marketing and finance and administration departments.