Mozambique’s flag carrier, LAM (Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique – Mozambique Airlines), will on 12 December resume flights to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.
According to General Director João Carlos Pó Jorge, LAM will offer three Maputo-Lisbon-Maputo flights per week, with tickets staring from $500.
The service will be carried out by the South African company, Fly Modern Ark, LAM’s management partner. Fly Modern Ark will charge LAM $42,000 per 10-hour trip.
Fly Modern Ark claims that the route will be sustainable because each flight can potentially earn LAM $600,000, arguing that after deduction of operational costs plus the $42,000, the company could rake in up to $320,000 in earnings.
Pó Jorge also announced that LAM will start flying to the South African city of Cape Town, at a cost of $85,000 per month.
It remains to be seen whether the flights will be sustainable. Hours after the announcement of the fare, the Portuguese airline company, TAP, lowered its ticket prices for a Lisbon-Maputo-Lisbon to $420, which is far less than the $500 charged by LAM.
Furthermore, another company flying to Lisbon is Angolan Airlines, TAAG, which plies the route Maputo-Lisbon with a layover in Luanda, the Angolan capital.
This means that the new entrant will have to fight over passengers who might already have become loyal customers to the two companies.
What Pó Jorge did not say is that should the venture fail, it is LAM that shall bear any losses, while Fly Modern Ark will not pay a single cent.
LAM has in the past flown to Lisbon but at substantial loss.
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