SAA Suspends Flights to Malawi
South African Airways (SAA) says it will suspend flights between Malawi and South Africa due to what its chief executive, John Lamola, attributes to the ongoing economic challenges in Malawi.
Lamola says in a statement that the 'difficult decision’ to cancel the route to Malawi, follows the substantial devaluation of the Malawi kwacha, acute foreign currency shortages, and the escalation of blocked funds.
The Reserve Bank of Malawi adjustment the trading value of the kwacha against the US dollar, devaluing the selling rate at 43.29% - from K1180.29 to K1700 effective November 9
The airliner has operated for only eight months after resumption of flights to Malawi on March 16, 2023 following an earlier halt due to similar reasons.
SAA says the suspension, which is a carefully considered risk management intervention, is effective Thursday, 30 November, 2023.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Transport spokesperson Watson Maingo says the cancellation of flights by SAA will have minimal impact on the airline industry in the country.
He said SAA has communicated to the Department of Civil Aviation that the suspension is temporary and will flights by airline will resume when the economic situation improves.