Mozambique: Lam Promises to Take Fastjet Passengers

Maputo — Although the London and South Africa based budget airline Fastjet will halt its operations on Mozambican domestic routes as from next Saturday, its clients will not be abandoned.

Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has promised that anybody who has purchased tickets from Fastjet for flights operated under the LAM/Fastjet code-sharing arrangement will be accommodated on LAM flights.

The timetable for the flights will not be altered. LAM issued a statement on Tuesday that the company "maintains its commitment always to serve the passengers with the minimum of inconvenience".

LAM used to have a monopoly on Mozambican domestic routes, but the routes have now been fully opened to competition. After the liberalisation of Mozambican airspace, Fastjet entered the Mozambican market and began its operations in November 2017. It reached a code sharing arrangement with LAM for flights between Maputo, Tete, Beira and Quelimane.

But when Ethiopian Airways, through its subsidiary Ethiopian Mozambique Airways, began operating the Mozambican domestic routes, Fastjet's revenue tumbled.

A statement from Fastjet said that "competition in Mozambique began to intensify at the end of 2018 with the market entry of Ethiopian Airlines as a domestic carrier." It blamed this competition for the drop in Fastjet's revenue from Mozambique in the first half of 2019 to1.9 million US dollars from 4.2 million dollars a year ago.

Fastjet promised to return to Mozambique "when the general demand for air transport in the country increases sufficiently in comparison with the capacity supplied to allow long term financial viability".

Currently LAM covers 11 destinations on domestic routes, and operates regional flights to Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. It plans to expand to other southern African capitals in the near future, and will resume flights from Maputo to Lisbon as from March 2020.

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