Thursday, February 14, 2013

► MALAWI: Air Malawi ceases all flights as new foreign investor to be announced in due course.

Air MalawiMalawi's beleaguered national carrier, Air Malawi (QM), has officially ceased flights with 243 employees also having been laid off, as the airline is liquidated in preparation for the founding of a new privatized venture, Air Malawi 2012.

QM's leased 737-200 ZS-SIL in Blantyre, Malawi
QM's leased 737-200 ZS-SIL in Blantyre
With two hundred and forty three staff having been laid off as part of the carrier's leaning down, Blantyre's Daily Times now reports that QM operated its last flight to Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday 13 February.
"Since we stopped domestic flights, we have been operating on the Jo'burg route a number of times a week. Now we have also been instructed to stop operating on that route. This means that there will be no Air Malawi flights after Wednesday," said the source, opting for anonymity, arguing that only the liquidator, Lekani Katandula, is mandated to speak on behalf of the company.
Source [BNLTimes]

QM had leased a Boeing 737-200ADV (MSN 22890 | ZS-PUI) from Star Air Cargo South Africa for use on its regional flights. Local operations ceased in January when the carrier's sole ATR42-300 (MSN 236 | 7Q-YKQ) was said to have undergone prolonged maintenance.

Malawi's Privatization Commission is also to announce Air Malawi 2012's foreign investor in the next 10 days with Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Globe Business Network of Botswana, and South Africa's FlyAfrica and Alpha & Omega/Abrina of South Africa all vying for a 49% stake in the new airline, with 51% reserved for Malawian nationals and the government. 

Air Express Limited of Malawi is the only local Malawian company to have made it through the preliminary bid process.