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South African Airways reinstates flights between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi  

JOHANNESBURG. 1 February 2019. South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that the airline will resumes operations between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi on Saturday, 2 February 2019.

The resumption of operations follows the conclusion of audit and inspection processes at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre relating to the condition of that airport. SAA suspended its operations on 18 January after it emerged that the state of the airport did not fully comply with conditions set out in its operating license.

“We are pleased that we are able to reinstate flights between the two points (Johannesburg and Blantyre) following the implementation of our corrective action plan. The plan was a battery of remedial interventions aimed at curing or responding to the audit findings,” said SAA Spokesperson, Tlali Tlali.    

SAA operates a three weekly service between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).

South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) notified SAA on Friday afternoon that the regulator is satisfied with the measures taken to respond to the situation at the airport in Blantyre.

“We are grateful to all our partners and stakeholders, including the Malawian Ministry of Transport and the municipality, for collaboration, commitment and understanding as we worked towards resolving the situation as speedily as possible.

“We appreciate the guidance of the regulator to ensure that the condition of the airport now meets our licensing conditions for SAA to operate,” said Tlali.

The following flights will operate as per schedule:

Saturday

SA172 - 2 February 2019 | Johannesburg to Blantyre

SA173 - 2 February 2019 | Blantyre to Johannesburg

“We truly apologise to our passengers and customers for the inconvenience caused by the suspension of services for the last two weeks. Safety of our passengers and crew will always remain paramount in our operations,” Tlali concluded.

All customers who had elected to rebook their flights will be assisted based on the re-accommodation policy conditions that were published at the time when the cancellation of flights was announced.

Customers who have enquiries may contact SAA on the following Call Centre numbers:

South Africa

  • Johannesburg | +27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606

SAA will make the necessary decisions in response to demand and to clear any possible backlog as a result of the suspension of flights between Johannesburg and Blantyre.

Issued by SAA Group Corporate Affairs

About South African Airways:

South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, Airlink, and its low-cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and nine intercontinental routes from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low-cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the Best Airline Staff Service award in the Africa category; this shows that our customer-facing employees are our true brand ambassadors who made a difference to millions of travelling customers. SAA is one of six airlines globally certified as IEnvA Stage 2, the highest and most comprehensive level in terms of environmental regulatory compliance and governance thereto.

For media information, please contact:

SAA Spokesperson
Mr Tlali Tlali
Email: TlaliTlali@flysaa.com
Mobile: +27 (0)82 333-3880
Office: +27 (0)11 978-2298

 

General Enquiries:

Switchboard: +27 (0)11 978-1000

Website: www.flysaa.com

Twitter (Primary): @flysaa - https://twitter.com/flysaa

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/flysaa

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that the airline is likely to resume flights between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi on Saturday, 2 February 2019.

On 18 January, SAA took a decision to cancel flights between the two cities after the audit process conducted at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre confirmed that the airport was not fully compliant with minimum standards required for SAA to operate in line with its licensing conditions.

“We took steps immediately after we suspended operations to Blantyre and dispatched personnel from our head office to augment our staff in Blantyre to attend to the audit findings to ensure compliance with our licensing conditions,” said SAA Spokesperson, Tlali Tlali.

SAA put together a Corrective Action Plan and submitted it for consideration by its regulator, South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

The airline, working together with the Malawian authorities as well as stakeholders such as the Malawian Ministry of Transport and the local municipality in Blantyre, implemented the required interventions to return the airport to expected levels for safe operations.

On Thursday, SAA notified SACAA that the remedial interventions have been implemented.

“We now await SACAA inspection of the airport and demonstration to them that we have successfully implemented required interventions as per our corrective action plan. Until measures put in place meet the satisfaction of SACAA, our operations between Johannesburg and Blantyre will remain suspended,” explained Tlali.

SAA operates a three weekly service between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).

“We understand that the inspection will take place next week Wednesday and we are optimistic that the regulator will be satisfied with the measures implemented. We would like to apologise to our passengers and customers for the inconvenience caused and trust that they will appreciate that the decisions to suspend flights and ensure compliance, were taken in the interests of safety for all,” concluded Tlali.

SAA will confirm the date for the reinstatement of the service SACAA has granted permission to resume flights. It is anticipated that flights will resume on Saturday, 2 February 2019.

South African Airways Contact details

  • Call Centre, South Africa

Johannesburg | +27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606

 

ENDS.

Issued by SAA Group Corporate Affairs

About South African Airways:

South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, Airlink, and its low-cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and nine intercontinental routes from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low-cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the Best Airline Staff Service award in the Africa category; this shows that our customer-facing employees are our true brand ambassadors who made a difference to millions of travelling customers. SAA is one of six airlines globally certified as IEnvA Stage 2, the highest and most comprehensive level in terms of environmental regulatory compliance and governance thereto.

For media information, please contact:

SAA Spokesperson
Mr Tlali Tlali
Email: TlaliTlali@flysaa.com
Mobile: +27 (0)82 333-3880
Office: +27 (0)11 978-2298

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Date of Issue | Friday, 25January 2019

Subject | South African Airways extends flight cancellations between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi

South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that the airline has extended its flight cancellations between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi.  

The extended cancellation of flights to include Saturday, Monday and Wednesday is due to the implementation of the corrective action plan following audit findings at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre relating to the condition of the airport. 

SAA operates a three weekly service between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).  

The airline has dispatched a team from its head office to augment its local staff in Blantyre in order to accelerate the implementation of the interventions intended to remedy the situation and to allow South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to conduct inspections.  

“We are encouraged by the level of commitment and urgency displayed by the authorities in working towards resolving the situation as speedily as possibly. We apologise to our passengers and customers for the inconvenience caused by these cancellations,” said SAA Spokesperson, Tlali Tlali. 

SAA is optimistic that services between Johannesburg and Blantyre will be reinstated soon and is monitoring progress on a daily basis. 

“We are grateful to SACAA and appreciate their efforts in working with us to ensure the safety of our operations for the benefit of our customers and crew. We intend to maintain the prescribed operating standards and will not hesitate to take all and necessary steps in the interests of safety,” Tlali concluded. 

The following flights are affected:

SA172 Saturday, 26 January 2019 | Johannesburg to Blantyre

SA173 Saturday, 26 January 2019 | Blantyre to Johannesburg

SA172 Monday, 28 January 2019 | Johannesburg to Blantyre

SA173 Monday, 28 January 2019 | Blantyre to Johannesburg

SA172 Wednesday, 30 January 2019 | Johannesburg to Blantyre

SA173 Wednesday, 30 January 2019 | Blantyre to Johannesburg

Due to the above cancelled flights, SAA advises that customers can choose to be re-routed between Johannesburg and Lilongwe (LLW) from 26 January 2019. Customers will be re-accommodated to the following scheduled flights:

SA170  - Johannesburg (JNB)  - Lilongwe (LLW)

SA171  - Lilongwe (LLW)  - Johannesburg (JNB)

Un-ticketed customers:

All customers that have not been ticketed can choose to be re-booked onto the Lilongwe flights operated by SAA.               

Rebooking Conditions Applicable:

  • SAA will rebook affected passengers onto the operation between Johannesburg and Lilongwe, where applicable;

  • Re-accommodation of reservations has been made by South African Airways onto the closest available flight between Johannesburg and Lilongwe

  • Change of cabin will not be permitted

  • Change fees will be waivered

  • Tickets must be re-issued on/before 01 February 2019

  • The original office of ticket issue may re-issue the ticket

  • In the event customers do not want to travel to Lilongwe, they can request a full Refund of the unused portion/ticket

 

South African Airways Contact Centre details

South Africa

  • Johannesburg | +27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606

South African Airways regrets any inconvenience to our customers as a result of the cancelations.  Please be patient with us whilst we work on getting all our customers to their destinations safely.

Yours sincerely,

The South African Airways Team