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The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (IACM), João de Abreu, has said that the announcement of the start of Ethiopian Mozambique Airline operations on 1 October did not come from his institution.
But amid the misinformation, discontent and even, perhaps, scepticism, Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines, a Mozambican legal entity, will in fact start operations this year.
After missing the announced 1 October deadline, the company has announced that the “most reasonable date” for the start-up of operations would be December 1st.
“We are going to start operating on December 1st,” Ethiopian Airlines director in Mozambique, Daniel Tsigui, told O País, explaining that the company “is still resolving some problems with the license”.
The new date for the first Ethiopian Airlines domestic flights finds the agreement of the Mozambican aviation sector regulator, who denies ever having announced the 1 October date.
“We think the December 1 date is the most reasonable and, above all, more realistic than the others that were announced,” IACM’s chairman João de Abreu explained, pointing out that “the previous date was not disclosed by the regulator”.
Abreu said the reason for the delay was anomalies in the manuals necessary for the certification of air operators.
“We are checking the manual page by page to see if it corresponds to the technical circulars and requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation”, Abreu said, while “still within 90 days”, the time allowed by law for responding to the submission of documents.
Without detailing the shortfalls, Abreu said that “the Ethiopian Mozambique Airline documents are already at the end of the third of the five required phases”.
At this third stage of the process, the IACM requires documents such as General Company Manual, operations manual, maintenance control manual and first training curriculum for new recruits, among other documents.
The next phases are demonstrating the ability to comply with safety procedures on an experimental flight, and the process is concluded with the formal delivery of the air certificate authorising the company to fly in Mozambique (phase five).
The Ethiopian carrier’s entry into the domestic market follows a public tender process last year, in which five companies competed and Ethiopian Airlines won.
Current aviation situation in the country
Currently the country has 180 domestic and international routes, but the IACM is focusing on increasing the number companies for travellers within the national territory.
It was in this spirit that in 2017 the tender that Ethiopian Airlines won was held. Even so, segments of the aviation market that continue to be “authentic rough diamonds” yearning for new investors.
Abreu says the country’s aviation sector has enormous potential which is not confined to passenger transport, the focus of a large number of investors so far.
But there is more. According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of IACM, some companies are beginning to show interest in investing in these new sectors, even if timidly.
“Civil aviation is not just passenger transport. There is also the medical air service, agricultural fumigation, verification and assembly of towers of high voltage lines… ,” Abreu said.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, air passenger transport is the third most-used travel modality in Mozambique.Source: O País