South African Airways (SAA) is offering customers alternative travel arrangements to Malawi following the closure of the main runway at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, Malawi.
Earlier this month, the Malawian airport authorities notified SAA that the main runway in Blantyre will be closed from April 24 to July 23,2019 for maintenance and rehabilitation.
The secondary runway remains operational for the duration of the works and will be used for arrivals and departures of aircraft of appropriate categories and classes.
SAA operates three weekly services between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). The aircraft size, which SAA operates to Blantyre, does not fit in the required categories/classes of the secondary runway, which will remain operational.
For the duration of the runway rehabilitation project, SAA will facilitate travel via Lilongwe for onward connection to Blantyre. This is intended to avoid any service disruptions and is part of contingency plans to re-accommodate customers via Lilongwe.
SAA customers will travel between Johannesburg and Lilongwe on SAA operated aircraft and further to and from Blantyre with Ethiopian Airlines.
“We apologise to our valued customers for any inconvenience caused by these operational changes. We will continue to look for ways to minimise the impact of operational changes to offer more travel convenience to customers,” says Tlali Tlali, SAA spokesperson.
SAA customers travelling to and from Lilongwe on SAA operated aircraft can enjoy business class, subject to availability, as SAA will be operating the A320/A319 on this route, which offers business and economy products.