South African Airways (SAA) has announced extended flight cancellations on its Johannesburg-Malawi route.
"South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that the airline has extended its flight cancellations to include operations on Wednesday between Johannesburg and Blantyre, Malawi," said the national carrier.
This is due to the implementation of a corrective action plan following audit findings at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre relating to the condition of the airport.
The affected flights on Wednesday are SA172 Johannesburg to Blantyre and SA173 Blantyre to Johannesburg.
Last week, the carrier announced a flight cancellation for Saturday and Sunday respectively (19 and 20 January).
SAA operates a service three times a week between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).
On Tuesday, the airline said it has dispatched a team from its head office to augment its local staff in Blantyre. This is in order to accelerate the implementation of the interventions intended to remedy the situation and to allow South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to conduct inspections.
"We are encouraged by the level of commitment and urgency displayed by the authorities in working towards resolving the situation as speedily as possibly. We apologise to our passengers and customers for the inconvenience caused by these cancellations," said SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali.
SAA is optimistic that services between Johannesburg and Blantyre will be reinstated soon and is monitoring progress on a daily basis.
"We are grateful to SACAA and appreciate their efforts in working with us to ensure the safety of our operations for the benefit of our customers and crew. We intend to maintain the prescribed operating standards and will not hesitate to take all and necessary steps in the interests of safety," said Tlali.
Due to the flight cancelations, SAA advised that customers can choose to be re-routed between Johannesburg and Lilongwe (LLW) for the period 19 January to 26 January 2019.
Customers will be re-accommodated to the following scheduled flights namely SA170 Johannesburg (JNB) - Lilongwe (LLW) and SA171 Lilongwe (LLW) - Johannesburg (JNB).
Un-ticketed customers, can choose to be rebooked onto the Lilongwe flights operated by SAA.
However, the following rebooking conditions apply:
SAA will rebook affected passengers onto the operation between Johannesburg and Lilongwe, where applicable;
Re-accommodation of reservations has been made by South African Airways onto the closest available flight between Johannesburg and Lilongwe.
Change of cabin will not be permitted.
Change fees will be waivered.
Tickets must be reissued on/before 26 January 2019. The booking owner may reissue the ticket.
Tickets to be endorsed "INVOL Re-route due SA (flight nr) CXD/Date".
In the event customers do not want to travel to Lilongwe, they can request a full refund of the unused portion/ticket.
Customers can contact the SAA contact centre details on 011 978 1111 or 0861 606 606.