An air charter company called Nyasa Express has taken Air Malawi to task over a K10 million debt the national flag carrier owes the firm in unpaid bills for an aircraft Air Malawi hired from the company.

The situation is said to have reached a point where Air Malawi’s bank accounts were frozen through a garnishee order, causing temporary interruption of flights at the airline a few weeks ago.

However, Air Malawi has played down the issue, saying it is just a business matter that has since been resolved amicably.

A leaked e-mail from Air Malawi, sourced by the media alerted staff about the issue, stating further that the airline owes Nyasa Express about K10 million that accumulated from K2 million fee for a charter of an aircraft.

“There is a garnishee (order) imposed on (the company’s) accounts such that we cannot draw any money. This is for the charter we did long time ago and it was worth K2 million and we failed to honour it till now it’s valued at K10 million,” states the leaked email.

Asked to explain the issues, Air Malawi Traffic and Industry Affairs Manager Tony Chimpukuso admitted the Nyasa Express issues, but said flight interruptions experienced by the airline had nothing to do with matter.

He said the airline was unable to operate some of its flights because its ATR 42 was grounded as it was undergoing statutory maintenance.

“This is what slightly affected our schedules,” he said.

Air Malawi is currently undergoing a restructuring process and is looking for a strategic partner.

Government is expected to cover the company’s over K4 billion debt before new investors come in.

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