Malawi Air Force takes delivery of two MA600s

Although little reported at the time, it is now known that the Malawi Air Force took delivery of two Xian MA600 twin-turboprop passenger aircraft earlier this year from China.

Both undertook a five-day/four-night ferry flight from Kunming Changshui International Airport, China, passing through 13 countries and flying 7,280 miles (11,717km) with a total flight time of 29hrs, before landing at Blantyre-Chileka International Airport at 1457hrs and 1512hrs local time on July 18. An official welcome ceremony was attended by Chinese Embassy and Malawi government officials, along with industry representatives.

Malawi AF MA600
One of the two new Malawi Air Force MA600s acts as a backdrop during the formal arrival ceremony at Blantyre on July 18, 2022. Malawi Defence Force

The two aircraft comprised serials MAF-T10 ‘76-10’ (tested as B-0ENY) and MAF-T12 ‘76-12’ (tested as B-0GSH), of which one was in a civilian-style white scheme with blue trim while the other wore a more military-style overall grey scheme. Both carried Malawi Air Force titles on the forward fuselage.

They had been officially accepted at the factory in China on February 17 during an Aircraft Acceptance Summary Meeting in which the Malawi Ambassador to China, HE Allan J Chintedza, participated. It is presumed they had initially remained in China to undertake crew training before delivery.

The aircraft will be used to assist in transporting Malian soldiers to peacekeeping missions as well as ferrying top government officials, including the President. This will cut costs considerably, as it will no longer be necessary to charter aircraft for these missions.