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.
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.
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.
Bidvest Premier Lounge
Johannesburg - JNB
Lilongwe - LLW
The flight was quite comfortable, on time and the food was fine.
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