With Mozambique boosting its efforts to promote tourism with a new e-visa platform and a visa waiver program for 29 countries launched earlier this year, the flow of visitors has been increasing steadily.
Still, while there are still few airlines flying directly into the country, flights are getting busier, and with the main airport in the capital Maputo getting used to the movement, selecting the right airline could save some hassles. So, here are 5 airlines flying into Mozambique as of mid-2023 that we think you should know about it.
Qatar is easily the best airline flying to Mozambique. The company has an unprecedented seven-time accolade as the “World’s Best Airline,” voted by Skytrax (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022), and its service shows. They fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Doha/Maputo/Doha route five times a week (excluding Mondays and Tuesdays).
The departure from Doha is at 2:00 AM, making it very convenient to connect to the airline’s 150 other destinations. The service is great, as you would expect, and the flight has a great record of being on time. Despite the connection time when flying to Europe, the Doha/Maputo/Doha route is a favorite among most foreigners due to the high level of reliability and customer service, which has no competition in Mozambique.
South Africa’s upcoming regional airline is easily one of our favorite airlines flying to Mozambique. Although Airlink operates a fleet of midrange Embraer aircraft, it does so on time and with honest service. The Johannesburg-Maputo route is flown three times daily (except for Saturdays with two flights) in very convenient slots. And although the national airline LAM and South Africa’s CEM Air also fly the route, Airlink is your best choice.
The airline has been growing in the vacuum left by South African Airways as they nearly went bankrupt a few years back. While they were not very sophisticated a couple of years back, currently, they are showing signs of a big airline mentality, implementing a loyalty program, choice of meals, and online seating selection. Airlink has the overwhelming advantage of connecting Maputo to the OR Tambo hub in South Africa in 45 minutes. That means access to routes from Emirates, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, DELTA, Etihad, Lufthansa, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, United, and many others.
Ethiopian Airlines has established a prominent presence in Mozambique, and at one point before COVID, they were even operating domestic flights in conjunction with the national airline of Mozambique (LAM). One of the standout aspects of Ethiopian Airlines is their extensive route network, making it today’s best African option to connect Mozambique to the rest of the world, especially considering they offer daily non-stop flights to Maputo.
Ethiopian is known for having one of the world’s youngest fleets of aircraft and the Addis-Maputo-Addis flight is no exception, operating a Boeing 737 MAX. The onboard service is decent, and Ethiopian has a very good logistic and support base in Maputo given their recent history in Mozambique.
TAAG flies between Luanda and Maputo 4 times a week, and it is perhaps the hardest airline to write an honest review due to its inconsistency. There are occasions when everything seems to run as well as Qatar Airways, but suddenly your next flight could be a complete nightmare. The overall comfort of their aircraft and cabin conditions could be better.
While some planes were modern and well-maintained, others appeared dated and in need of refurbishment. There are instances when everything will be on time and instances when everything, everywhere (including in Luanda), is very delayed. Still, TAAG remains one of the easiest bridges to South America through its Brazil-bound flight since Ethiopian Sao Paulo flights are mismatched in terms of schedule if you are coming from Maputo (you need to spend the night in Addis).
5. TAP Portugal
TAP Portugal is the most convenient airline to reach Mozambique from Europe as it offers the only non-stop flight into the country from Lisbon three times a week. Despite the convenience, the route to Maputo is overpriced, and the attitude of their crew is disappointing (to be polite).
Poor management over time created a very low standard of customer service, with no shortage of online groups reporting in English, Portuguese, and French their stories (over 20,000 people on Facebook alone). In Mozambique, a growing number of Europeans avoid the airline whenever possible.