South African Airways (SAA) has announced the resumption of flights between South Africa and Malawi, starting from March 2023.
The airline will operate twice-weekly flights on a Johannesburg (JNB) – Blantyre (BLZ) – Lilongwe (LLW) – Johannesburg triangular route, using Airbus A320 aircraft.
The flights are scheduled to start on March 16th, 2023, and the following schedule as observed by Aeroroutes will be effective from March 30th, 2023.
The flight, designated as SA172, will depart from Johannesburg at 10:10 AM and arrive in Blantyre at 12:30 PM. After a brief stopover, the flight will depart Blantyre at 1:20 PM and arrive in Lilongwe at 2:10 PM. The flight will then depart Lilongwe at 3:00 PM and arrive back in Johannesburg at 5:40 PM.
The decision to resume flights was made after a series of negotiations between SAA authorities and the government of Malawi, as stated by Professor John Lamola, the CEO of SAA, during a meeting with Her Excellency Mrs. Stella Ndau at the Malawi High Commission in Pretoria.
During the visit, Prof Lamola expressed his enthusiasm about the resumption of flights, as the airline has been restructuring and focusing on promoting AFCTA within the SADC region.
Her Excellency Ndau commended SAA for its decision, stating that it shows renewed confidence in the operating environment in Malawi and will contribute to the improvement of the tourism and transport sectors.
She added that the resumption of flights will make Malawi one of the most affordable tourist destinations in the region and will support the government’s efforts to improve the economy.
SAA had suspended flights between Lilongwe and Johannesburg due to travel bans during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving travelers with only two choices, either Malawian Airlines or Ethiopian Airlines. However, with the resumption of flights by SAA, travelers will have an additional option to choose from.
Ticket sales for the flights have already begun on Monday, February 6th, 2023. The resumption of flights by SAA to Malawi is good news for travelers and the tourism and transport sectors, and it is expected to have a positive impact on the economy of the country.