Tuesday, July 16, 2013

► MALAWI: Lengthy certification process could result in long wait for Malawi Airlines to get airborne.

Malawi flagWhile on a visit to the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, last week, Ethiopian Airlines' CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, stated that despite the announcement earlier this month of the formation of Malawi Airlines in which his carrier owns a 49% stake, it will still be "some time" before the carrier begins operations.

Malawi's Daily Times quotes Mr Gebremariam as saying that a “rigorous process” will have to be undertaken before the new airline starts its operations.
Tewolde Gebremariam
The financial and technical capability is there and we have aircrafts and technical expertise ready but the regulatory process is a rigorous process and if we do not follow all the procedures countries will not allow us to fly in their destinations so it may take some time (to start operating),” he said.
Under Malawian law, the certification process for a new airline is said to take 90 days, implying a possible 3 month waiting period, which could mean Malawi Airlines will only become operational by September/October.

Among the routes to be prioritized out of the carrier's hub, and Ethiopian's Southern African hub, he added, are Johannesburg, Harare, Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and Nairobi to be served with a B737-800 and a Bombardier Q400.