We have plans to acquire more carriers-Transport Minister
Due to the demand in flights especially to and from South Africa, Malawi Airlines has a new carrier a 737-800 series; bigger than the previous one.
Transport and Public Works Minister Engineer Jacob Hara said the airline was leaving out a lot of passengers a development which necessitated the introduction of a new carrier with a higher capacity than the previous one.
Hara disclosed that government is also exploring at other possibilities to ensure that the flag carrier expands its capacity.
“It’s also a newer model so I think we’ve basically been giving Malawians a better deal. The previous one had a capacity of 118 seats; the new one has a capacity of 158 seats, so that’s 40 more seats there. So it’s bigger, new one, better facilities.
“We’re also looking at a possibility of creating Lilongwe as a connecting hub; so what we intend to do is we have plans to acquire more carriers and get into an arrangement with even other bigger carriers as well so that together we are assisted and work together to ensure that what we are envisioning happens.
“For example we have ET that comes to Malawi, but Malawian Airline doesn’t go to ET; and an agreement in the aviation we can go to ET, I mean we can go to Addis, we can go to Mozambique, we can go to Zambia, Zimbabwe and then get passengers and then flying them for example to Dubai”.
He describes the investment as a big one not necessarily for the Region five games but that it’s a forward looking arrangement.
In line with the vision of the administration to invest more in mining, agriculture and tourism, Hara stated that transport is an enabler for people to fly in Malawi and cheaply.