Malawi's Ulendo Airlink (W4, Lilongwe) resumes charter flights from its Lilongwe base from September 10, 2020 following the reopening of the airport to international air travel on September 1, 2020.

“By offering private flight services, we can keep parties travelling together in a single aircraft and avoid interaction with other passengers,” the company said in a statement.

Ulendo Airlink suspended scheduled flights in April 2020 and would only resume those in April 2021 at the start of the next safari season, according to a notice on its website. It said capacity and frequency on its scheduled routes would be reduced to ensure a sustainable service for partner lodges. The airline operates a fleet of Cessna (single piston) 210s and Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Grand Caravans to various points across Malawi and Mfuwe in Zambia. It is a subsidiary of tour operator Ulendo Malawi Group.

Meanwhile, Malawi Airlines (3W, Lilongwe) has not resumed any of its schedules after suspending flights in March. "As to when we can start our flight operation I can’t say, as we are busy mobilising our resources and the travelling public shall be informed when complete,” Malawi Airlines Commercial Administration Manager Charles Ngambi told ch-aviation.

In June, the airline was reported to have requested a MWK385 million kwacha (USD527,000) bailout from the government to keep paying its staff and aircraft leases on its two aircraft - a B737-700 and a Dash 8-400. Ministry of Finance spokesman Williams Banda at the time told local media the government was also in discussions with Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa), its joint shareholder with the Malawi government.

Zambian carrier Proflight Zambia (P0, Lusaka) has also not yet resumed scheduled services to Malawi, General Manager Operations, Mark Barrett, confirmed.

Reuters reported the Malawi government decided to lift air travel restrictions to mitigate the social and economic impact from COVID-19. Department of Civil Aviation Acting Director, James Chakwera, said only a limited number of flights would operate, while all arriving passengers would be required to produce COVID-19 negative test results based on tests conducted at least 10 days before arrival.

Malawian airspace had been closed since April 1, 2020, except for flights ferrying health personnel, essential health equipment, and emergency relief items, while repatriation flights and general cargo were dealt with on a case by case basis. By end-August, the country had recorded 5,474 cases and 173 death, although figures may be higher as fewer than 50,000 tests have been conducted.