President Joyce Banda yesterday flew on a scheduled Air Malawi ATR 42 flight from Blantyre to Lilongwe, a move that has been hailed by management at the airline as a confidence booster to the company.

The president travelled on the seven o’clock commercial flight from Chileka Airport along with other ordinary passengers on the one hour journey to Lilongwe.

This was a complete departure from previous presidents’ use of Air Malawi where the whole plane was chartered for exclusive use by the head of state.

Air Malawi’s Tariffs and Industry Affairs Manager Tony Chimpukuso said the move is a very big confidence booster to the airline.

He said Banda has set an example for Malawian travellers, including civil servants to patronise the airline.

“We are very happy as a company that President Banda has decided to fly on Air Malawi. This company needs the support of every Malawian, including the president,” said Chimpukuso.

Banda recently indicated willingness to sell her official presidential jet as a demonstration of her government’s commitment to cut costs.

The president observed that she is comfortable travelling on commercial flights and is ready to part ways with the luxurious jet

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