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Fuel shortage grounds Mozambique’s flag carrier

Around 300 passengers travelling between the Mozambican capital Maputo and the cities of Beira and Nampula were on Thursday stranded after the national carrier cancelled flights due to a shortage of jet fuel.Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM) said in a statement on Thursday that it has been facing challenges in procuring fuel for its aircraft due to financial constraints.

LAM, which last made profit in 1999, is struggling to obtaining fuel for its aircraft because it owes $3 million to the fuel company BP.

“We are in talks with the fuel supplier and we hope to take to the skies soon,” the company said.

The state airline has attempted to obtain fuel from another supplier, Puma Energy, but the company has demanded pre-payment.

The situation has led to delays and cancellations of flights from Nampula and Tete, including from those two cities to Johannesburg.

The cancellations have affected Mozambique’s top division football league, with a number of matches involving travelling teams postponed.

This is the second time this year that the airline has had to ground its fleet over fuel shortages. The first time was in March.

The Mozambican government is currently looking for a partner to invest in LAM to make it viable.

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