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Mozambican air companies are safe, declared Joao de Abreu, chairperson of the regulatory body, the Mozambique Civil Aviation Institute (IACM), on Monday.
Speaking to reporters during a meeting in Maputo of aviation regulatory bodies from the member state of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries), Abreu, cited in Tuesday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, said “We’re fine. Our countries are fine. What we are doing here today is talking about ironing out the asymmetries, since some countries are more evolved than others. There are countries which need a push, and so we are here to share and to build the capacity of those who most need it”.
There are 23 air companies registered in Mozambique. But only Mozambique Airlines (LAM) runs scheduled flights to destinations within the country and abroad. The other companies operate small planes, mostly for charter flights.
Asked about competition, Abreu said that is not a matter for the IACM, which cannot become involved in purely commercial matters. But he warned that aviation safety must not be sacrificed in the name of stimulating competition.
He was referring to the frequent demands that other air companies be allowed to compete with LAM on domestic routes. LAM is facing enormous difficulties because currently three of its seven passenger aircraft are undergoing maintenance, which has forced the company to alter its timetable and to cancel flights, much to the anger of passengers.
Abreu pointed out that there is no legal obstacle to competition. “Mozambican airspace has been liberalized since 2008”, he said. “But that doesn’t mean that any company can land here and carry passengers”.
Before any air company can start operations in Mozambique, it must obey the requirements laid down by the regulator, he said. Companies must be registered in Mozambique, they must have Mozambican premises, they must show that they have the financial resources for the operations they propose, and that they have enough aircraft, pilots and maintenance staff.
Abreu thought these requirements were simple, and he believed that the real reason why no rivals to LAM had taken were commercial rather than regulatory – the amount of traffic on Mozambican domestic route might not be large enough to attract foreign companies.Source: AIM