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Chileka Airport opens next week

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The Ministry of Transport has announced plans to re-open Chileka International Airport for commercial flights on November 9, 2020.

Government ordered shutting down of the country’s airports from April 1 in a bid to control further spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

After noting a slowdown in registered cases, the government ordered the re-opening of the airports, starting with the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on October 1.

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Speaking in an interview Tuesday, Ministry of spokesperson, Andrew Mthiko said an assessment of trends at KIA has necessitated the reopening of the Chileka Airport.

He said the ministry has since completed all Covid-19 prevention requirements at the airport and is waiting for an approval from the Ministry of Health through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

“We needed to ensure that social distance markings, informative posters, sanitiser dispensers and washing station have been put at the airport so all that has been done and our tentative date of the reopening is November 9 subject to approval by the Ministry of Health,” Mthiko said.

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Reopening of the airport would excite players in the tourism sector whose business is among the hardest hit.

Majete Wildlife Reserve, one of the players in the tourism industry said business remains subdued.

Majete Wildlife Reserve Park Manager, John Adendorff, said its revenue has gone down by about 90 percent in the past months.

“Often domestic tourists come but do not spend a night so we need support from domestic tourists that they should be spending nights or else we will continue relying on foreign tourists who currently, rarely come to the country,” he said.

Malawi has two international airports, Kamuzu and Chileka and one local airport, Mzuzu in the northern Region.

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