South African Airways advises customers of Operational changes to Blantyre, Malawi
JOHANNESBURG. 24 April 2019. South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that due to the closure of the main runway at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, Malawi from 24 April to 24 July 2019, the airline’s operations have been affected.
The aircraft size, which SAA operates to Blantyre, does not fit in the required categories/classes of the secondary runway, which will remain operational. Accordingly, SAA’s operations to Blantyre have been cancelled, for Wednesday, 24 April 2019 and Saturday, 27 April 2019.
However, contingency plans have been put in place for smaller aircraft, operated by SA Express to operate this route, with the exception of the Wednesday and Saturday flights.
“We have implemented contingency plans by using the SA Express’ Q400 turbo prop aircraft to continue with SAA’s schedule operations with the exception of the 24th and 27th April 2019, whereon no scheduled operation will be available to/from Blantyre.
“We apologise to our valued passengers and customers for the inconvenience caused by these cancellations,” says Tlali Tlali, SAA Spokesperson.
SAA operates a three weekly service between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).
The airport authorities notified SAA that the main runway will be closed from 24 April to 23 July 2019 for maintenance and rehabilitation. However, the secondary runway will remain operational for the duration of the works and will be used for arrivals and departures of aircraft of appropriate categories/classes.
“The nature of the aircraft deployed during the rehabilitation of the runway will be a single cabin aircraft. In the light of this change, SAA has decided to compensate all passengers who had purchased tickets to travel in the premium cabin. The decision was based on the nature of the offering in the single cabin aircraft and in accordance with our compensation policy,” says Tlali.
Other customers will be re-accommodated to Lilongwe, as these operations are unaffected. These passengers will have an option of reconnecting from Lilongwe for onward travel by air or ground transport.
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Perhaps SAX are just operating their aircraft on behalf of SAA, thus no new bilateral required?
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SAA sending A330-200 today on JNB-LLW.
It seems Malawian will also send their Q400 on JNB-BLZ, with the 737-700 doing nonstop LLW-JNB
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Even then, it wouldn't require any renegotiation. The bilateral agreement agrees to the total frequencies but allows the government from each country to designate who flies them. So the RSA government could change who they designate those frequencies to at their discretion.