May 22, 2024

Scandal at LAM: When tickets are sold but the money disappears

The African country's national airline revealed violations. The number of tickets sold does not match the revenues at Linhas Aereas de Moçambique. Even when it comes to refueling, the bills don't add up much.

The future of Linhas Aereas de Moçambique, or LAM for short, has long been at stake. Last April, the government appointed South African consultancy Fly Modern Ark to rescue the airline, which was founded in 1936 and is now deeply in debt. Since then, the South Africans have taken matters into their own hands and achieved their first success in September: debt was reduced by $62 million.

About five months later, the management around Sergio Matos has a new problem that almost seems like a bad joke: LAM is selling more tickets again, but revenues don't match the number of tickets sold. Matos explained in a press conference on February 12 that the imbalance amounted to about $3.2 million in December alone.

Check all points of sale

To address this problem, the administration ordered security to gather all point-of-sale systems at the 20 official outlets to check card readers. It turns out that some outlets didn't even know who these devices belonged to, says Matos. The charge of embezzlement of company funds is clear.

Another issue that the restructuring manager has publicly addressed is fuel bills. The aircraft has a maximum fuel capacity of about 80 tons. Lamm determined that this plane had 95 tons of fuel. “So the question is: What happened to the remaining 15 tons?” Matos asked.

$1.2 million in Malawi

Here too, the current administration announced that it would take strict measures against the embezzlement of funds. In addition to ticketing and refueling violations, Fly Modern Ark discovered that a company account worth $1.2 million existed in Malawi, but no one at the company had access to it.

“There are cases where employees have used company funds or used them to buy their own homes,” Matos said at the end of the press conference. Diario Economico.

Lisbon is the only European destination

The airline's network includes 12 destinations and domestic routes. Regionally, Lam regularly flees to Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Lusaka and Cape Town. The only long-distance connection has been to Lisbon since 12 December. According to the aviation data portal CH Aviation The fleet currently consists of two Boeing 737-700 aircraft and two Dash-8-Q400 aircraft.