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LAM Unable to Carry Cargo to Lisbon for Five Months

LAM Unable to Carry Cargo to Lisbon for Five Months

The manager responsible for restructuring Mozambican airline LAM told Lusa on Wednesday that Portuguese customs do not allow cargo brought on LAM flights from Maputo to enter Lisbon.

‘We didn’t fly to Lisbon for 12 years, and on 12 December we restarted flights, we submitted the request to the Portuguese customs authorities to have the EOR, the European Union authorisation document for cargo entry, and five months later we still haven’t had an answer. But cargo from Lisbon to Maputo is travelling normally,’ said Sérgio Matos.

Speaking to Lusa on the sidelines of the Mozambique-Portugal Business Forum, which is taking place this afternoon at the Belém Cultural Centre in Lisbon, the manager responsible for restructuring Mozambique Airlines (LAM) stressed that the problem is the Portuguese authorities’ lack of response and delay in providing information.

‘The process has been submitted, maybe this is the normal delay, but as we have no information, we’re getting worried, because we’re entering the fifth month of operation and we don’t have authorisation to bring cargo from Mozambique to Portugal,’ he added.

The plane, with a capacity of 32 tonnes, flies empty of cargo from Maputo to Lisbon, but goes full from Lisbon to Maputo, he said.

‘Our traders in Mozambique are impatient because they think it’s a Portuguese ban on bringing in cargo, benefiting only Portuguese traders, but we, as LAM, don’t see it like that, we just want to know the minimum or maximum period it takes to get authorisation,’ Sérgio Matos added.

Asked if TAP, which also operates direct flights between Lisbon and Maputo, is authorised to bring in and take out cargo, he said yes.

Earlier, the president of the Confederation of Business Associations of Mozambique (CTA), Agostinho Vuma, had called on governments to harmonise the legislation that promotes trade relations and to remove obstacles and announced that Mozambican exports to Portugal via LAM would be impossible.

‘They should harmonise business incentive measures so that Luso-Mozambican business can flow more smoothly. For example, after the introduction of measures and economic acceleration that allowed for greater demand for tourism, there was an opportunity to resume direct flights between Lisbon and Maputo, but the lack of authorisation from the tax authority to send cargo from Maputo to Lisbon is a problem,’ said Agostinho Vuma during his speech at the Forum’s opening session.

‘Cargo from Lisbon to Maputo can go, it’s allowed, but Portuguese customs doesn’t allow Mozambican companies to send their goods to Portugal,’ he lamented, stressing that ‘this appeal is a way of materialising our mutually advantageous, “win-win” relationship.’

Asked about the number of passengers on the operation to Lisbon, which resumed in December last year, Sérgio Matos told Lusa that the occupancy rate for flights from Maputo to Lisbon is above 80%, representing between 260 and 280 people on each of the two weekly flights, while from Lisbon to Maputo there are between 200 and 240 passengers per flight.


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