South African Airways (SAA) says it will suspend service to Malawi, citing recent economic challenges rocking the nation.
According to the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, John Lamola SAA’s decision to cancel the route is a carefully considered risk management intervention in response to Malawi’s current economic challenges.
In a statement issued Tuesday morning, SAA says the suspension of services to Malawi is effective from next week Thursday, 30th November 2023.
In an industry alert last week, SAA said that it was monitoring the situation of substantial devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha, acute foreign currency shortages, and the escalation of blocked funds closely before making the difficult decision to cancel its route to Malawi.
Lamola said the suspension should not be interpreted as a step back from the airline’s commitment to serving Malawi and promoting trade links between South Africa and Malawi.
He added that the airline company cannot commit to routes that are not financially sustainable and that the SAA will continue monitoring the situation.
Lamola said: “SAA values its relationship with the Malawi and market and thanks its customers for their understanding and continued support during these challenging times.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation. We remain open to resuming the route to Malawi as soon as the situation warrants the substance of financially efficient operations from this route,” Lamola said.
SAA has, for the recent years, been suspending and later resuming the flights to Malawi due to what the state-owned Company has been describing economic challenges.
The company resumed its flights to Malawi in March this year after three years of suspension.