Supporting the Policy Enabling Environment for Development

Air Liberalization

Mozambique risked backsliding on their efforts to liberalize the air transportation sector.  The Mozambique Airports Company (AdM) proposed reducing the number of international airport points of entry from the current nine airports to only three.  Maputo, Beira and Nacala airports would be the only international airports open to flight arrivals from other countries, while the affected airports at Nampula, Inhambane, Vilanculos, Pemba, Tete, and Linchinga would serve only domestic flights.  The proposal also prescribes the operation of hub-and-spoke route networks from the three remaining international airports, with domestic connecting flight routes established by regulation. National consultations and rigorous economic analysis strongly support maintaining the current international points of entry. 

A SPEED+ report estimates that Mozambique would lose $340 million and almost 50,000 jobs over a five-year period following the closure of six international airport points of entry.

The AdM proposal would represent a reversal of the aviation liberalization agenda and would eliminate the economic benefits of direct international flights serving the outlying provinces in Mozambique. Mozambique has previously adopted a more liberalized and competitive approach toward its aviation policy (see side box), which has facilitated the increase of direct flights from South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania to outlying points of entry. 

Ease of access has enabled economic development across multiple sectors with significant increases in investment and jobs in the regions served by international airports. To a large extent these cities are already acting as the gateways and transport hubs for dynamic cross-border economic activity which would be stifled by the closure of these points of entry.