euroAtlantic Airways (YU, Lisbon) has said it is interested in cooperating with LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM, Maputo) to allow the latter carrier's return to European airspace.

LAM is keen to reenter the Maputo-Lisbon market, which is at present controlled by TAP Air Portugal, at least until March 2020, but before that a tender will be launched in the Portuguese-speaking African nation to choose an operator in Portugal to cooperate with.

It was in this context that a delegation from euroAtlantic Airways, including its chief executive, visited Maputo last week to hold meetings with LAM and the Mozambican government.

“We are available and interested in cooperating with LAM on this project,” CEO Eugénio Fernandes told the Lusa News Agency in Maputo. “At the meeting, we had with LAM, we introduced our company and talked about our technical capabilities and our competitive advantages. We think we can be a good partner.”

EuroAtlantic currently operates scheduled flights between Portugal and two other Lusophone destinations, Bissau and São Tome, both 1x weekly according to its website, as well as charter operations. It has a fleet of six B767-300(ER)s, one B737-800, and one B777-200(ER), according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. It is a shareholder in STP Airways (8F, São Tome), the flag carrier of another former Portuguese colony, São Tomé & Principe, although this role will end later this year.

LAM, on the other hand, last served Europe in April 2011 when the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (Instituto de Aviação Civil de Moçambique - IACM) was blacklisted by the European Union. It used a B767-300(ER) for the Maputo-Lisbon route, 2x weekly. The ban was lifted in 2017, but LAM no longer possesses long-haul-capable aircraft, hence the need to reach an agreement with a foreign operator.

LAM's only international routes are Maputo to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo (14x weekly), from Pemba close to the Tanzanian border to Dar es Salaam, between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi (both 3x weekly), and routes to Johannesburg from both Tete (3x weekly) and Beira (1x weekly), according to the ch-aviation capacities module. It currently has two B737-700s, three E145s (operated by MEX - Mocambique Expresso (MXE, Maputo)), and two E190s.