Air passenger transport on Mozambican territory grew by 2.4% between April and June this year, compared to the first three months of 2018, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The air cargo transport registered growth rates of 32.2% against the previous quarter and 67.4% in relation to the same period last year.
The increase has come about as a result of new civil aviation rules recently adopted in the sector, particularly in regard to competition in the domestic market.
Proof of this is Fastjet, a low-cost pan-African consortium of South African and UK businesspeople which, at the end of last year, became the first foreign-owned airline to fly passenger services in Mozambique, linking the cities of Maputo and Beira, and Tete and Nampula.
Until then, only the state-owned Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM) operated domestic flights, but management problems, lack of airplanes and money to pay for fuel led to flight delays and cancellations.
Meanwhile, LAM and Fastjet have already signed at least two MoUs this year to improve conditions in the domestic market, the most recent being the exchange of services in the event of flight cancellation or delay.
Fastjet is based in the United Kingdom and started operations on the Mozambican market in November 2017 after the liberalisation of the national airspace. Last March, Fastjet and LAM entered into a six-year partnership that included sharing flight codes, operating routes and other commercial and maintenance activities.
The new dispensation in aviation
At the end of May 2018, the government approved new regulations on competition in Mozambican air transport services establishing rules for good competitive practices in transport and air transport services, and defining practices and agreements that are considered anti-competitive.
The new legislation aims at preventing agreements between airlines and any concerted practice that adversely affects the liberalisation of air transport services in Mozambique and which has as its object the obstruction, restriction or distortion of competition.
The decree considers illegal anti-competitive practices and agreements between air operators and any concerted practice that directly or indirectly determine the conditions of purchase or sale or any other commercial conditions, including the prices charged on the routes.
Source: Club of Mozambique