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LAM Mozambique Airlines Cleared to Use Zimbabwe Airspace

The lifting of the ban is set to cut down flight times by roughly 50 minutes on its Lisbon route.

A LAM Mozambique Airlines Boeing 767 (Photo: Pedro Aragão, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has lifted a ban on Mozambique’s national carrier Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM).

Zimbabwe Bans LAM Mozambique Airlines

Savana Indepedencia reported that Mozambique’s national carrier was banned from using Zimbabwe’s airspace.

Due to the ban, LAM Mozambique Airlines was not able to fly over the airspace while operating scheduled flights.

Increased Operating Costs

This situation resulted in Mozambique’s flag carrier taking a longer route on one of its flights.

The longer route increases LAM’s operating costs, making the flight more costly for the airline as more jet fuel is used. The longer flight routing also leads to increased carbon emissions.

Longer Flying Times

A flight between Maputo and Lisbon took an additional 50 minutes on the Maputo – Lisbon routing, due to Zimbabwe’s airspace ban.

A typical flight between Maputo and Lisbon generally takes around 10 hours. However, due to the inability to use Zimbabwe’s airspace, LAM Mozambique’s flight to Lisbon took almost 11 hours.

Debt Issues

The reason for the banning allegedly related to outstanding payments owed by LAM Mozambique Airlines to Zimbabwe for the use of its airspace.

Savana Independencia reported on July 5 that Zimbabwe will allow flights operated by Mozambique’s national airline to fly across its airspace once again.

This is good news for LAM Mozambique Airlines as it will be able to cut costs and flying time when flying to Lisbon in Portugal.

Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority has not yet given reasons for the lifting of the ban.

A source from Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority told Savana Independencia that the lifting of the ban came about as a result of the intervention from a Mozambican executive who had dealings with Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The unnamed source also mentioned continued negotiations between the parties, in light of the fact that Zimbabwe owes large sums of money to its neighbor Mozambique.

Zimbabwe allegedly owes large sums of money to Mozambique for the supply of electricity.

Lorne Philipot


  • Lorne Philipot

    Lorne is a South Africa-based aviation journalist. He was captivated and fascinated by flying from the day he took his first airline flight. With a passion for aviation in his blood, he has flown to destinations in all corners of the globe. Lorne has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. Drawing on his travels and passion for aviation, Lorne enjoys writing about airlines, routes, networks, and new developments.

    View all posts

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