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Mozambique’s aviation sector takes a knock due to the Covid-19 pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic is taking more than just a toll on the health of most Mozambicans but is threatening to inflict a knockout punch to the south-eastern African country’s economy, especially its fledgling aviation sector.

Latest statistics show that the virus, which causes the acute respiratory disease Covid-19, had as of Tuesday, 5 May 2020 recorded eighty cases and no deaths.

Like most of her neighbours, Mozambique remains on edge, fearing a surge in reported Covid-19 cases during the winter season that runs from May to late July/early August.

The situation is compounded by the fragile state of the health sector in Mozambique and most of her neighbours, except South Africa.

However, the economic fallout from the pandemic seems to be triggering more jitters than the disease itself, given that the impact on the pocket has been more instant and is easily felt by everyone.

The aviation industry is one of the sectors feeling the economic pinch of the pandemic and the attendant lockdown.

According to the state-run daily Noticias, the Mozambique Airport Company (AdM) has been incurring operational losses of US$2.4 million a month since international travel bans commenced in March.

Quoting Transport Minister Janfar Abdullai, the daily warned that there were fears that the losses could rise to US$3.4 million per month if the travel bans continue for another month.

AdM runs Mozambique’s domestic and international airports.

Almost all international flights in and out of Mozambican airports have been suspended, with the exception of Ethiopian Airlines, which is still operating two flights a week between Maputo and Addis Ababa.

The state-run Mozambique Airlines has since stopped all international flights and now plies only domestic routes.

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