South African Airways Operations to Blantyre, Malawi, Remains Affected by Maintenance Work at Airport

by Sally Cook

JOHANNESBURG. 23 August 2022. 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 2022 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 onEthiopian Airlines, for the period 31 August 2022 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. 

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 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

“We apologize to our valued customers for any inconvenience caused by these operational changes. We will continue to look for ways of minimizing the impact of operational changes to enable us to offer more travel convenience for customers,” concluded Tlali.


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 further information, please contact:

SAA Spokesperson

Mr Tlali Tlali 


Mobile: +27 (0)82 333-3880

Office: +27 (0)11 978-2298

Marketing Enquiries:

Head of Marketing

Mr Themba Khumalo

Office: +27 (0)11 978-5597

Mobile: +27 (0)81 555-2353


General Enquiries:

Switchboard: +27 (0)11 978-1000


Twitter (Primary): @flysaa -

Twitter (Customer Service): @flysaa_care -









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