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South African Airways extends Malawi airport ban over safety

South African Airways (SAA) has extended cancellation of its Wednesday flight on its Johannesburg-Blantyre route due to safety concerns at Malawi’s Chileka International Airport, the SAA said on Tuesday.“South African Airways advises customers that the airline has extended its flight cancellations to include operations on Wednesday between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Malawi),” the national carrier said.

This was due to the implementation of a corrective action plan, following audit findings at Chileka in relation to the poor condition of the airport, the SAA added.

The affected flights on Wednesday are SA172 Johannesburg to Blantyre and SA173 Blantyre to Johannesburg, it said.

Last week, the carrier announced a flight cancellation for Saturday and Sunday respectively (19 and 20 January) for the same reasons.

SAA operates a tri-weekly service between Johannesburg and Blantyre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The flag carrier said it was optimistic that services between Johannesburg and Blantyre would be reinstated soon and was monitoring progress on a daily basis.

The Malawi authorities said they were aware of the South African airliner’s concerns and were taking remedial measures to solve the problem.



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