SAA's Contingency Plan to Maintain Routes Between Johannesburg and Blantyre in Malawi

15 May 2019

South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that we have been notified of the closure of the main runway at the Blantyre airport (Chileka International Airport) in Malawi. The main runway will be closed between 24 April through to 23 July 2019. It is anticipated that the runway will be open from the 24th of July 2019. 

Subsequently SAA’s own operation has been cancelled due to the limitations of the secondary runway. This runway has a restriction in the weight allowed to land which will affect the amount of seats available.

Our contingency plans to use SA Express’ smaller gauge aircraft to continue with SAA’s schedule obligations has changed and future JNB-BLZ-JNB operations (within the period of the runway closure) will be cancelled and passengers will be re-accommodated via LLW. 

SAA’s scheduled daily operation between Johannesburg and Lilongwe is not affected and will be used to assist in re-accommodating our passengers. Passengers can be rebooked by the booking owner between LLW and BLZ on ET in the lowest available booking classes.

With regards to our Business class passengers, our LLW operation will have a Business cabin available subject to demand and where available can be rebooked by the booking owner.

 Un-ticketed passengers:

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

A)   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 South African Airways 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 24 May 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.

B)   Voyager

(The below will only be applicable to Voyager Redemptions booked in I and X/class. Dynamic Redemptions are handled as per above revenue procedure)

Un-ticketed passengers:

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

 Ticketed Customers:

·            Ticketed award customers holding SAA reservations between Johannesburg and Blantyre will be re-accommodated as follows:


·            All Voyager customers in possession of SAA Award tickets issued on SAA ticket stock (083) are to be re-accommodated onto the operation between Johannesburg and Lilongwe. This is still subject to same redemption award classes.

·            The re-issuance of tickets must be made on/before 24 May 2019.  The issuing agent may re-issue the ticket.

·            Tickets to be endorsed “INVOL Re-RRT due BLZ RUNWAY Closure/Date”.

Refund Process

·            Voyager will refund and re-instate the Miles of awards for those customers who do not wish to be re-accommodated, according to the normal Terms and Conditions applicable when a reschedule or flight cancelation occurs.

 C)   Other conditions:

  1. Waivers to this policy will not be made.
  2. This policy is applicable to South African Airways only, issued on SA (083) ticket stock and not on separate tickets of other airlines.
  3. No-show passengers are not eligible for this waiver.
  4. All additional taxes for ticketed passengers will be absorbed by SAA.
  5. SAA Reserves the right to amend the policy without prior notice.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact Sales Support on 0208 576 5555 and select option 2 or email

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