Air Transport World

LAM progressing well; the government of Mozambique set up LAM in 1980 to replace DETA; officials say problems are ironed out and carrier is well established. (Linhas Aereas de Mozambique)

Maputo--It took five years for the government of the People's Republic of Mozambique to do something about its mouting dissatisfaction with its airline. The Portuquese set it up in 1936 to meet the air transport needs of their then colony. It was in 1975 that Mozambique gained full independence after 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule. Among the assets that President Samora Machel and his Marxist-Lenist Party inherited was DETA, the air transport division of the Ports and Railroad Service. DETA had served the Portuguese well, providing needed domestic and regional services.

But DETA was far from being the Mozambique national carrier which the Machel government wanted to carry the country's flag to far-away lands (under the Portuguese DETA was not mandated to fly to Lisbon, this was the monopoly of TAP--Air Portugal). Another source of dissatisfaction to the new government was the lack of Mozambique nationals among DETA's management and flight crews. In 1980 the government decided to act in a decree the Council of Ministers explained that DETA had proved itself incapable of adapting to the role that the nation required of it. …

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