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Mozambican air companies, particularly the national carrier, Mozambique Airlines (LAM), need to “reinvent themselves” in the face of new competition, warned Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita
He was speaking in Beira, on Friday, after the inaugural Maputo-Beira flight of Fastjet, a London-based company which, in partnership with Solenta Aviation (the Mozambican subsidiary of a South African company), is now operating Mozambican domestic routes in direct competition with LAM.
This shock of competition, said Mesquita, “must be understood in a positive way, in order to better serve the clients”.
“If they have not yet done so, the managers of LAM will have to rethink very seriously and quickly the company’s restructuring, and redefine its operational, commercial and marketing models”, he added.
Fastjet is starting its operation with 20 return flights a week from Maputo to Beira, Tete and Nampula. The users of air transport services, said Mesquita, “now have another choice for their travel, whether for business or for pleasure. We hope to see an increase in the supply, regularity and quality of the services offered”.
“With more diversification, flexibility and greater frequency of flight, we want Mozambique to become more competitive in the transport logistics chain”, added the minister. “Mozambique must be a country that is preferred as a safe destination for business and leisure”.
All stakeholders involved in aviation should think “in an integrated way”, he urged. “They should provide consolidated travel packages with added value, which promote operations on a win-win model across the entire range of flights and services”.
“The government deposits great hope in air transport, as a catalyst and a strategic industry for valuing the vast resources spread across the national territory, and to guarantee the accelerated development of our economy”, said Mesquita.
He urged Fastjet to comply scrupulously with international civil aviation regulations. “Safety comes first”, he declared. “Safety is not negotiable”.
“All your activity should ensure that you are putting the safety and comfort of the passengers in the very first position, well above any other interests”, he stressed. He expected the regulatory body, the Mozambique Civil Aviation Institute (IACM), “to remain implacable in ensuring compliance with all the procedures for safe air transport”.
Air companies must also pay special attention to the rights of passengers, said Mesquita. For passengers, flights were just a mean of reaching their destinations, where they often had commitments which could not be postponed. That meant “the consequences of the cancellation and rescheduling of flights must be borne entirely by the operators”.Source: AIM