Liberalisation of Mozambican air space will have to wait for LAM to receive new equipment

12 September 2012

The liberalisation of Mozambique’s air space will have to wait for flagship airline, Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM), to receive new equipment as it is currently unable to withstand competition, said the Mozambican deputy Transport and Communications Minister.

Speaking to Mozambican newspaper O País, deputy minister Manuela Rebelo noted that Mozambique was concerned about liberalising its air space before LAM was able to withstand competition from other airlines. The airline would therefore need to be equipped to provide better quality services.

Liberalisation of the air space is a commitment made by several African countries as part of the Yamoussoukro Treaty, signed in the Ivory Coast in 2000, which stipulates “open sky” rules requiring airlines from the countries that have signed agreements operate in these markets without restrictions, carrying passengers to different destinations.

“One of the great concerns we have is the fact that we are not prepared to enter a liberalised market given that in order to be sovereign a country must, in fact, have a well-equipped airline that is able to compete on an equal footing with other airlines,” said the deputy minister, without specifically noting what was being done for this to change.

Rebelo also said that work was being carried out in order for the country gradually move ahead with agreements with other countries to liberalise its air space, in line with the principles of the Southern Africa development Community (SADC), which has a strategy of protecting flagship airlines. (macauhub)