West African Connectivity

South African Airways (SAA) operations to Blantyre, Malawi, remains affected by maintenance and upgrade work at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.

The Malawian airport authorities recently notified SAA that the main runway in Blantyre will remain closed for an extended period until 31 October 2019 for maintenance and rehabilitation. It is the same runway, which SAA uses, and was originally closed on 24 April 2019.

SAA has, therefore, made alternative travel arrangements to ensure continued operations to and from Blantyre and to mitigate further impact of the runway closure on its customers and passengers.

“SAA’s customers will, therefore, travel between Johannesburg and Lilongwe on SAA operated aircraft and further travel between Lilongwe and Blantyre on Ethiopian Airlines, for the period 31 August 2019 until 31 October 2019. This is an interim travel plan intended to avoid any service disruptions,” says Tlali Tlali, SAA Spokesperson.

The Ethiopian Airlines is SAA’s partner airline in that market and there is an interline agreement to seamlessly facilitate customer transfers between the two airlines.

SAA operates daily flights between Johannesburg and Lilongwe and the airline offers both business and economy class product and service on the route operated on Airbus A320/A319 aircraft.  

Re- accommodation conditions

Un-ticketed passengers:

All passengers who have not been ticketed will be rebooked onto the next available flight. 

  1. Ticketed Individual passengers and groups

Rebooking Conditions Applicable:

  • SAA will rebook affected passengers between Johannesburg and Lilongwe;
  • Re-accommodation of reservations has been made by SAA onto the closest available flight between Johannesburg and Lilongwe in the same booking class.
  • The booking owner can book ET between LLW and BLZ in the lowest available booking class
  • Change fees will be waivered
  • Tickets must be re-issued on/before 02 September 2019. The booking owner may re-issue the ticket.
  • Tickets to be endorsed “INVOL Re-RRT due BLZ RUNWAY Closure/Date”.
  • A full refund of the unused portion/ticket will only be considered once the aforementioned options have been considered.

South African Airways Contact Centre details 

South Africa  

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

• Blantyre | +265 1820 991