Mozambique closes airspace to international passenger flights


Mozambique has banned all international passenger flights in and out of the country, except for certain authorised charter flights such as for humanitarian and diplomatic purposes, the head of the aviation authority said today.

The new rule came in at midnight on the night of 11-12 May, and represents an “operationalisation” of the Presidential decrees issued at the start of April and May, restricting travel into the country, João de Abreu, president of the Instituto de Aviação Civil de Moçambique, told Zitamar News.

The restriction will last until 30 May, the end of the current state of emergency — though that can be extended once more by a further 30 days, if the government decides that the covid-19 outbreak in the country merits it.

A customer email from Maputo-based travel agency Cotur on Tuesday lunchtime said the restriction applied to passenger flights in and out of Maputo, but de Abreu confirmed that it applied to all of the country’s international airports. Domestic flights are not affected, he said.

He said the measure had not been implemented before now to allow Mozambican nationals, and foreigners with Mozambican residency, to return to Mozambique before the restriction was put in place.

Last Sunday, a flight arrived in Maputo from Lisbon, Portugal, and on Monday another arrived from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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