, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Kenya Airways (KQ) has received approval from the government of Malawi that will see the airline operate between the capital Lilongwe and Lusaka in Zambia from June 3.
This is after it was given the Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights which allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country.
That means KQ will now have the unique role to pick up passengers in Lilongwe and drop them in Lusaka and vice versa.
Currently, Malawi has no national carrier so Kenya Airways will be the sole operator for the country in the meantime.
The approval of the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights follows an MoU signed between the Kenya and Malawi governments in 2008 which allows collaborative arrangements between designated carriers of both countries for their mutual benefit.
The fresh approval was through a letter from Malawi’s Secretary for Transport and Public Works Moffat Chitimbe on Friday.
KQ has also been given the greenlight to begin flying into Chileka Airport in Blantyre, a commercial city in Malawi.
Receiving the good news, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni, thanked both the Kenya and Malawi governments for facilitating the approvals.
“We are delighted to get these approvals which will enable us to enhance our presence in the Southern African country while also supporting the development of the region through provision of efficient air transport services,” Naikuni said.
KQ flies 10 times every week to Lilongwe and will soon announce its schedule into Blantyre.