Malawi Airlines Limited (Blantyre) was launched on July 2 as the replacement flag carrier of Malawi replacing defunct Air Malawi (Blantyre). The new airline will be operated in partnership with investor Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa). Malawi will have a 51 percent share in the new carrier and Ethiopian Airlines will hold the other 49 percent according to this report by Nyasa Times.
Ethiopian Airlines will supply two aircraft for the new venture.
Air Malawi (Blantyre) is again on the blocks to be privatized by the Malawian government. The government, through the Privatisation Commission, has received expressions of interest from 11 companies for the national flag carrier according to this report by Engineering News. The 11 companies will be short-listed for a final selection.
According to Wikipedia, since 2000, the Malawian government has attempted on two occasions to privatize the airline unsuccessfully. The first attempt in 2003 failed because of the successful bidder, in partnership with South African Airways, was unable to post a security bond. The second attempt in 2007 failed after disagreements over the terms of the bid by Comair (Johannesburg) of South Africa. Comair is interested in bidding again.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Whoever is successful in bidding for Air Malawi will immediately have to upgrade the old fleet. Veteran Boeing 737-2K9 7Q-YKX (msn 23405) approaches Johannesburg for landing. The airframe was originally delivered to Midway Airlines (1st) (Chicago-Midway) as N701ML on December 5, 1985. This aircraft has now gone on to Star Air Cargo as ZS-SVT.
Air Malawi (Blantyre) is flying again after encountering difficulties with its aircraft. The debt-ridden state airline was grounded for eight days from November 16-24 according to this report by the DefenceWeb.
The lease for Boeing 737-2K9 7Q-YKX (msn 23405) with Bravo Capital Limited expired during this period and the company was searching for another aircraft for the Johannesburg route.
The single ATR 42 was also grounded due to “prolonged maintenance” issues.