Cape Town – South African Airways (SAA) will suspend its flights to Lilongwe and Blantyre in Malawi at the end of November as a “risk management intervention”.
The airline says this decision does not signify a withdrawal from its commitment to serving Malawi but is due to the financial unsustainability of the routes, EWN reported.
“This move should not be interpreted as a step back from the airline’s commitment to serving the people of Malawi and promoting trade links between South Africa and Malawi,” the report quoted SAA’s chief executive officer, Professor John Lamola as saying.
Malawi is facing an economic crisis with fuel shortages, high food prices, and a lack of foreign exchange.
According to Travel News, on November 8, the Malawi Reserve Bank reduced the value of the kwacha by 44%, setting it at MWK1,700 against the US dollar, compared to its earlier rate of MWK1,180.
This recent devaluation of Malawi’s currency has further contributed to the challenging economic conditions.
SAA says it will monitor the situation and is open to resuming the route if circumstances change. The suspension of the route will take effect next Thursday.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu