Thursday, July 4, 2013

■ MOZAMBIQUE: LAM seeking partners to help launch international carrier.

LAM Mozambique AirlinesMarlene Manave, the current CEO of LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM), says the Mozambican government-backed national carrier is looking for an international partner with which to create an international carrier for the airline.

LAM DC10 in 1983 (C Volpati)
In an interview with The African Report, Ms Manave said while government was eager for the re-establishment of international flights, suspended since April 2011 when the carrier was added to the EU No Fly List citing safety oversights, LAM was not in a financial position to go it alone as any international venture would lose money for "two or three years". 
"We are not getting government guarantees. We finance aircraft on our own but it is tough, especially because of the high fuel prices," she said.
In addition, Ms Manave said for a small airline like LAM, survival depends on making good fleet decisions, codesharing with other carriers and balancing aircraft purchase and lease agreements.

LAM's last international service was a twice-weekly flight from Maputo to Lisbon operated under a wet lease agreement with Portuguese ACMI specialists, EuroAtlantic Airways.

Ms Manave also highlighted that poor quality infrastructure at some of Mozambique's airports was continuing to have an adverse effect on LAM's aircraft despite Aeroportos de Moçambique (AdM), the Mozambican parastatal tasked with running the country's major airports and airspace, recently increasing levies on passengers to pay for USD350million in infrastructural upgrades.