Three local companies have been disqualified from the race for a strategic partner for a restructured national flag carrier, Air Malawi (2012) Limited, the Privatisation Commission (PC) has said.

The three are Mpatsa Holdings Limited, CDH Limited and Global Airlines.

The three local companies were taken out following a meeting of an Evaluation Committee which comprise the PC, the Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure, the Department of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Finance and Air Malawi Limited.

The committee has shortlisted Global Business Network of Botswana, Fly Africa of South Africa, Comair Limited of South Africa, Ethiopian Airlines of Ethiopia, Africa Star Airways Limited, Air Express Limited, Jetlinks Airways Limited and Alpha and Omega.

According to PC, to come up with the eight shortlisted companies, the committee looked at the track record of the bidders in airline operations as well as willingness to partner with Malawian nationals.

The potential bidders were also required to demonstrate evidence of financial capability to recapitalise the airline based on a sound business model.

“The firms that were not shortlisted were encouraged to seek participation as financial investors with consortia led by shortlisted firms,” reads a statement from PC.

PC Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Lipunga told reporters recently that Air Malawi (2012) Limited is expected to have at least 51 percent local shareholding.

Government last month appointed accountant Lekani Katandula as liquidator of Air Malawi Limited to oversee the settlement of liabilities as well as the transfer of assets into Air Malawi (2012) Limited.

Lipunga said Air Malawi will continue operating normally and that the jobs of its employees remain intact, at least at the moment.

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