Malawi Airlines (3W, Lilongwe) will launch operations with a B737-800 and a Dash 8-400 sourced from 49% shareholder, Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa), it has emerged. According to Mr Jimmy Lipunga, the head of Malawi's Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC), the airline will target Lilongwe, Blantyre, Karonga and Mzuzu domestically while regionally flights to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, Harare Int'l, Lusaka, Dar es Salaam and Luanda are planned. In the medium term, he added, the airline would explore intercontinental flights to new destinations "such as São Paulo Guarulhos in Brazil" to take advantage of growing Brazilian interests in Southern Africa. Industry analysts have speculated as to a possible mirroring of the model used by Ethiopian's successful West African venture, ASKY Airlines (KP, Lomé), which also initially focussed on building a strong short-haul network before venturing further afield. Mr Lipunga also stated that the airline's original launch date of July 1 had been delayed owing to differences in opinion between the Malawian government and Ethiopian on the airline's name. Ethiopian successfully argued that a full rebranding would help distance the new carrier from the battered, tarnished image of predecessor, Air Malawi (QM, Blantyre), while helping to protect the new venture from what was termed "predatory creditors."