Friday, December 28, 2012

■ MALAWI: Over 240 Air Malawi employees face lay offs as privatization drive begins to hurt.

Air Malawi (QM) Ltd is to send "up to 243 employees" on leave pending retrenchment and retirement as part of the government's restructuring of the company, currently being overseen by the Privatization Commission.

Air Malawi's Chief Executive Officer Patrick Chilambe confirmed that some workers had already received letters sending them on leave until February next year.
"Given that we are restructuring, a good percentage of the staff will be allowed to retire from the airline and we thought they could proceed to go on leave in order that they can fulfil their leave entitlements," Chilambe said.
Source [DailyTimes]

Air Malawi's 737-300 stored in Joburg
Air Malawi's 737-300 stored in Joburg
The government placed the highly indebted airliner under voluntary liquidation and instead established a new company called Air Malawi (2012) Limited in which a strategic partner is being sought with a finalzied list of 5 potential candidates already being published. "Air Malawi Limited" excludes its wholly owned subsidiaries;  namely Air Cargo Limited and Lilongwe Handling Company Limited.  The subsidiaries will subsequently be decoupled from Air Malawi Limited through a separate Government sanctioned  restructuring exercise to be done at a later stage.  

The Privatisation Commission (PC) has, however, been faulted in the way it approached the liquidation of Air Malawi as it is argued that the process has created a vacuum of confidence such that "business has dwindled by 70 percent."
"We are struggling right now because some customers were not clear as to what is happening and this has affected business but we hope the process (of establishing the new company) will not take too long," said Air Malawi spokesperson, Tony Chimpukuso.
Source [DailyTimes]

Currently, Air Malawi is operating one aircraft - a Boeing 737-200ADV (MSN 22890 | ZS-PUI) leased from Star Air Cargo South Africa - as its other aircraft - an ATR42-300 (MSN 236 | 7Q-YKQ) - is said to be grounded and under maintenance. 

Malawian President, Joyce Banda, has set a deadline of December 2013 as the latest possible date to have a renewed Air Malawi up and running, to aid in the country's economic recovery, which will also include the refurbishment of both Lilongwe International Airport and Blantyre's Chileka International Airport.
"I want that by this time next year, the Minister of Transport should show us a competitive partner that has airplanes and money so that in by so doing we can have air Malawi up and running," said Banda
Source [DailyTimes]

Banda herself has joined in the austerity drive by putting her Presidential Jet, a Dassault Falcon 900 EX (MSN 38 | 7Q-ONE), up for sale.