The publicly owned Mozambique Airlines (LAM) increased its operating profits by 15 per cent in 2011, according to a Monday press release from LAM.
The volume of traffic grew by five per cent, and production (measured by passenger-kilometres) grew by 10 per cent. The average seat occupancy rate on LAM flights was 73 per cent – an improvement on the 70 per cent recorded in 2010
These figures are contained in a performance report that was discussed at a seminar held last Friday to assess the company’s activities in 2011.
The report attributed improved performance in part to LAM’s use of modern aircraft. On its domestic and regional routes LAM has been phasing out Boeing 737-200s, replacing them with the Embraer 190 aircraft recently acquired from Brazil, and Bombardier Q400s from Canada.
With the new aircraft LAM was able to make savings on fuel costs, increase the number of flights and reduce turnaround times.
The phasing out of the Boeing 737-200s is continuing this year. LAM plans, as an interim solution, to hire a more modern Boeing (a Boeing 737-500) from South Africa, while awaiting delivery of its third Embraer, scheduled for October this year. A fourth Embraer 190 will arrive in 2013.
This year LAM also intends to set up a separate company, LAM International, to handle inter-continental flights. The initial plans are to form partnerships with American and Asian companies that will allow direct flights from Maputo to Brazil and to China.
LAM hopes to increase the number of passengers carried this year by 17 per cent, and to raise on-line sales of tickets to 10 per cent of its ticket revenue.