Review of Malawian Airlines flight Johannesburg Lilongwe in Business

Airline Malawian Airlines
Flight 3W 21
Class Business
Seat 4J
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 03:50
Take-off 18 Feb 15, 12:40
Arrival at 18 Feb 15, 16:30
3W 2 reviews
By 3155
Published on 1st March 2015
Even though the flight was booked on Ethiopian Airlines, it was operated by Malawian Airlines (not a recognized airline on this website). Checking in at Jo'burg airport, the check in staff highly recommended that we get our checked bags wrapped in plastic. She also mentioned that the load was low on today's flight.

Malawian uses the Bidvest Premier lounge, which is fine. Boarding began on time and we pushed back a few minutes early. It appears that all Malawian flights have a pilot from Ethiopian Airlines on board (this was also true on the return to Jo'burg). On this flight, he sat in business class and really didn't seem like he had to do anything. There were only three passengers in business and economy was maybe half full.

The aircraft was from Ethiopian although there was Malawian branding throughout.

photo IMG_0237photo IMG_0238 copy

In fact, Malawian does a great job with branding. Lunch was served on the Jo'burg to Blantyre leg. No menus were handed out, just beef or chicken. I chose chicken. IFE was just a moving map from drop down screens.

photo IMG_0236

Soon after lunch, we started out descent into Blantyre.About half the passengers disembarked here and only a handful boarded for the continuation to Lilongwe.

The flight from Blantyre to Lilongwe was only about 25 minutes. The crew did not even get out of their jumpseats. We landed a few minutes early in Lilongwe.

For those interested, the Latitude 13 hotel is the place to stay.
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Malawian Airlines

Cabin crew5.0

Bidvest Premier Lounge


Johannesburg - JNB


Lilongwe - LLW



The flight was quite comfortable, on time and the food was fine.



  • Comment 130619 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5528 Comments

    Hi there and thanks for sharing this first report on here! It certainly is an exotic airline on an exotic route, as it had never been reported previously. I added Malawian airlines to the database for you and added it to your report. It the future, if you need an airline, airport, or lounge added, feel free to contact us ahead of time through the contact link at the bottom left of the page and we'll try to add it before you publish your report.

    Your pics are great, too bad there are only three :-( The meal actually looks decent. The interior definitely looks like ET from the colors. I'm surprised the seat pitch looks so tight--looks like standard US Domestic First seat pitch. Looking forward to more reports. Thanks again for sharing this review!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    Community Managaer

  • Comment 130620 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for the report and welcome to the site!

    Definitely is a unique product. It looks like a fairly new plane (Sky Interior from your cabin shot), just has older style business class seats. As Kevin said, the pitch does look pretty tight for a designated business cabin, but not terrible for a regional flight on a narrowbody (I think the best I've seen is KE's 738s with 50 inch pitch).

    Catering presentation looks overall okay, although I'm not quite sure about the item in the top right corner (I'm guessing it is a dessert of some type). Chicken portion is a little on the small size.

    Good quality pictures, hopefully some more next trip! (You should add your cover photo into this FR)

  • Comment 130624 by
    padawan GOLD 1654 Comments

    Thank you for this first report on Malawian !
    Indeed, Malawian is 49% owned by Ethiopian and 100% operated by Ethiopian, so no surprise to find Ethiopian seats and Ethiopian flight number ET.

  • Comment 130663 by
    02022001 4351 Comments

    A new author who publishes on africa ! And a new airlines never carried more! Too bad it is so short because from what I see, it does not look so bad.
    Thanks ;)

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