Mozambique: New Management of Lam Takes Over

Maputo — The international commission headed by the South African company "Fly Modern Ark', chosen by the Mozambican government to help revive Mozambique Airlines (LAM), is formally beginning its work on Tuesday.

Transport Minister Mateus Magala presented the team last Thursday to the current managers of LAM, who will work together with "Fly Modern Ark' for six months or a year.

Cited in Tuesday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias', Magala said that as yet there is no specific number of aircraft that "Fly Modern Ark' will allocate to its operations in Mozambique. All will depend on its assessment of LAM's needs and capacities.

Magala believed that, once the team was on the ground, it would be easy to determine the resources needed.

He said that one of the purposes of the new rehabilitation strategy for the national airline is to reduce its fares.

"Generally, the reduction of fares is a function of economies of scale and efficiency', he added. "Certainly this has to be linked to good management within a favourable civil aviation regulatory environment. We intend to achieve this quickly so that passengers can benefit from greater access to our LAM'.

The South African company will bring its own planes and equipment to help improve the management of LAM, which is effectively bankrupt.

According to Magala, the decision to put LAM under new management follows an assessment carried out last year, with the support of the World Bank.

Privatisation of LAM was ruled out, largely because of its debt burden of around 300 million dollars. Instead, the government has opted to bring a private company into the management of LAM, but without compromising its essence as a public company.

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