Ethiopian Airlines to base Mozambique operations in Beira
File photo: TVM
Airline passengers in Mozambique, contacted by Lusa at the airport in the country’s capital, expect that Ethiopian Airlines’ entry into the domestic flights market will lower travel prices.
“I hope we can deconstruct the idea that an airplane is for wealthy people and that prices can become more affordable, because prices are still prohibitive,” said Amandio Borges, a passenger who was preparing for a trip of about three hours to the province of Nampula, in the north of the country.
Borges has travelled with the carrier and was happy about the news after many years of monopoly of state airline Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM).
However, pride became disappointment, he said, adding that he had been affected several times by the delays and lack of information from the flagship company.
Marco Silva, another passenger in the waiting room, said he sees a new airline offering domestic flights as a worrying sign, which shows LAM’s weaknesses.
“An outside company had to come in to help us,” he said.
In addition to forcing the competition to work harder, the new company generates new revenues for Mozambique, and creates jobs, Silva said.
Francisca Tovela, on her way to Tete, an inland province just over three hours away, was pleased with the promotional prices of the new company.
“When I saw the rates, I thought: this was what we needed,” she said, saying she expects improvements thanks to competition between companies.
“In any economy there needs to be competition,” said Marcos Cuembelo, another passenger, believing that LAM will also have to provide better quality services.
“In the end we, the customers, are the winners and the country and the market also win,” he concluded.
Ethiopian Airlines started domestic operations in Mozambique on 1 December, becoming the second foreign company to connect different cities in the country.
Until 2017, only state-owned carrier LAM could carry out domestic flights, but a change to the law allowed other operators to enter the market, the first of which was Fastjet, which for the last year has offered flights between Maputo and some provincial capitals.Source: Lusa