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Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has gone from being a company known for persistent delays to a company with a level of punctuality above the industry average, director general João Carlos Pó announced today.
“We started to notice an improvement from the third week of August. In September we already had a very good performance and we noticed that in October it was maintained: we reached 90% punctuality, when the industry average is around 79% to 80% ,” the head of the state-owned airline told a press conference in Maputo, just four months after he was appointed to the post.
Organising a schedule that could be consistently adhered to was one of the priorities of the new team that has been running LAM since July, and which had also bolstered the attention paid to any delays “exceeding five minutes”, he added.
The new management had improved the company’s executive structure without making any redundancies but by redistributing personnel and renegotiating agreements with fuel suppliers Puma and Petromoc, the interruption of which had caused delays and cancellations in the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, the Institute of State Participation Management (IGEPE) had injected liquidity and the company was now seeking to replenish funds to reach break-even by the first half of next year, Pó added.
LAM continues to seek a partner that has “capital to invest” in new flights and a restructuring of the fleet – currently comprising 429 seats distributed across four jets, plus three 50-seat aircraft from subsidiary Mex and a connection to an international network.
As part of its commercial strategy, LAM is exploring new markets, such as students, and taking into account the country’s 2,000-kilometre size. It is also “selling destinations instead of flights” by, for example, marketing a trip to the Island of Mozambique in partnership with tourist agents, instead of selling the regular flight to Nacala airport, the closest to the island.
Foreign companies, especially in the oil and gas sector, have also been in contact with LAM about the possible contracting of services related to natural gas extraction in the north of the country, where work is already underway and is expected to be accelerate next year.
The dynamics of the sector could well justify increasing LAM’s capacity to 600 seats with another jet and one more turboprop airplane, he added.Source: Lusa