Closure of Chileka Airport – Blantyre

Civil Aviation Authorities in Malawi have announced the immediate closure of Chileka International Airport in Blantyre while emergency repairs to the main runway are carried out. The airport was closed without notice on Sunday 16th March as the appearance of potholes on the main runway raised concerns about possible damage under the runway surface following recent heavy rains in the area.  It was deemed unsafe for larger commercial aircraft to operate until repairs could be carried out. 

Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Kenya Airways and Malawian Airlines services have all been affected. Each of the respective commercial operators has announced adjustments to their Malawi operating schedules following the closure of Blantyre. Affected passengers should contact their airline for details on arrangements for their flights to and from Blantyre.  

  • Ethiopian Airlines have indicated their services will operate directly from Addis to Lilongwe return, without a stop in Blantyre. (ADD/LLW 09:20/12:20 and LLW/ADD 15:00/19:45)
  • Kenya Airways will reroute all Blantyre passengers on their Nairobi - Lilongwe flights with no changes to their operating schedule for Lilongwe. 
  • Malawi Airlines will operate all services from Lilongwe and amend operating times for their Johannesburg flight as follows: LLW/JNB 09:20/11:45 and JNB/LLW 12:55/15:10.
  • South African Airways operated 3 flights per week between Johannesburg and Blantyre and have yet to confirm if they will simply operate these flights directly to Lilongwe as opposed to Blantyre. We recommend agents contact the airline directly for updated information. 

Chileka's second runway remains open for smaller aircraft and Lilongwe based Ulendo Airlink are still able to operate to Blantyre using charter services for this routing. Atta Member, Ulendo Safaris, would be pleased to provide any additional information should any members have guests effected by the suspension of services to Malawi's southern gateway. 

By Atta Member Ulendo Safaris