Mozambique liberalizing its airspace gradually

11 June 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 11 June – The Mozambican authorities are in the process of gradually opening up the country’s air transport sector to competition, but not at the desired pace, a senior official has said.

Transport Minister Antonio Munguambe told a conference organized by Mozambique’s main business associations last week that airline Air Corridor was awarded an operating license in 2004 after the monopoly of national carrier LAM was ended on domestic routes linking Maputo-Beira-Quelimane-Nampula-Pemba.

But LAM is still the only national airline authorized to operate the profitable Maputo-Johannesburg route under an agreement between the Mozambican and South African governments, he added.

Liberalization of Mozambique’s airline industry is being carried out in stages to prevent potential collapse of companies, causing unemployment and other difficulties, the minister said, adding that partnerships with other regional operators must be created to ensure a full opening of the country’s skies.

Mozambique’s existing two national airlines are not able to meet existing demand for seats, so there is room for a third operator in the country, noted Maputo’s transport minister. (macauhub)