Maputo — The Portuguese company EuroAtlantic Airways has expressed an interest in cooperating with Mozambique Airlines (LAM), so that the Mozambican carrier can once again fly to Lisbon.
"We are willing and interested in cooperating with LAM in this project", said the executive chairperson of EuroAtlantic Airways, Eugenio Fernandes, interviewed in Maputo by the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
LAM hopes to resume flights between Maputo and Lisbon by March 2020 at the latest. But before then a tender will be launched to choose an operator to work with the Mozambican company.
A delegation from EuroAtlantic Airways, headed by Fernandes, has been visiting Maputo for meetings with LAM and with the Mozambican government.
"In the meeting we held with LAM, we introduced our company", said Fernandes. "We spoke of our technical capacities and of our competitive advantages. We think we can be a good partner".
EuroAtlantic Airways was founded in 1993, and has flown to over 157 counties and 700 airports, according to the company's own data. Currently it operates regular flights between Portugal and two of the smaller Portuguese speaking African countries, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe.
Between 2012 and 2017, the European Union's Air Safety Commission banned LAM and all other Mozambican air companies from flying in European airspace. This was because of concerns, not about the safety of the airlines, but about the regulator, the Civil Aviation Institute of Mozambique (IACM), which did not meet EU standards.
LAM has been unable to take immediate advantage of the lifting of the ban, because it does not possess any long haul aircraft that can make intercontinental flights. Hence the need to reach an agreement with a Portuguese operator.
In the 1970s and 1980s, LAM flew, not only to Lisbon, but also to Paris, Copenhagen and Berlin.