Government through the Department of Civil Aviation has announced the lifting of suspension of international commercial flights which was imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement dated August 17, 2020 which has been signed by the Acting Director of Civil Aviation, James Chakwera, said the suspension is effective September 1, 2020.
Reads part of the statement: ‘The Government of the Republic of Malawi has carefully considered the adverse effects of the suspension of air travel on all the sectors of the economy and has therefore decided to lift the suspension.”
However, the statement said initially only a limited number of flights shall be allowed to operate and the operations shall be restricted to Kamuzu International Airport only until further notice.
Government has also emphasized that all health measures established in the Malawi Gazette Supplement dated August 7, 2020 shall be strictly observed.
Some of the measures include ensuring that all arriving passengers are providing samples for Covid-19 testing, observing social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing and wearing of face masks.
Meanwhile, an economic expert, Professor Betchani Tchereni, has commended the move by government saying it will boost the country’s tourism sector hence benefiting the country’s economy which has suffered most as a result of Covid-19 lock-down measures.
“Tourism is one of the industries which suffered most due to the Covid-19 lock-down which led to suspension of flights and in addition people have also been failing to conduct trade and all these crippled the flow of currency so with the commencement of the flights we expect the country’s economy to boost.”
On April 1 this year, government through the Department of Civil Aviation suspended the international commercial flights as one way of preventing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic which the country has so far registered more than 5000 confirmed cases with over 150 deaths recorded.