The Malawian government has authorised Kenya Airways to begin landing and taking off from Chileka Airport in Blantyre on 3 June 2013, Secretary for Transport and Public Works Moffat Chitimbe said this week.
“I am pleased to convey government approval for your operations into Chileka Airport, and the exercise of fifth Freedom Traffic Rights on the Lilongwe-Lusaka sector as per your filed schedules effective 3rd June, 2013,” the letter addressed to the East African airline company said.
The granting of the fifth freedom traffic rights allows Kenya Airways to pick up passengers in Lusaka and drop them in Lilongwe, and vice versa. Kenya Airways flies 10 times every week to Lilongwe, and will soon announce its schedule into Blantyre.
The approval follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Kenya and Malawi governments in 2008 allowing collaborative arrangements between airline carriers of both countries for their ‘mutual benefit’. Malawi has no national carrier, so Kenya Airways will in the meantime be the sole operator.
Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO Titus Naikuni said the approvals will enable his company to enhance its presence in the Southern African country.
*Photo by Sky Scraper City.