usflyer msp
Topic Author
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

TM315 MPM-JNB

Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:33 am

LAM Mozambique Airlines
TM 315: Maputo to Johannesburg

As part of a recent vacation in South Africa and Mozambique, I was booked on South African Airways flight from MPM to JNB that turned out to be operated by LAM Mozambique Airlines. LAM is the flag carrier of Mozambique and has undergone significant upgrades over the last few years in order to support its country's booming economy. The have re-branded themselves, upgraded the fleet with new Embraer 190 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft, and launched new flights to Luanda and Nairobi and soon Lisbon.

The International Terminal at the Maputo Airport is brand new, opening in December 2010 after many delays. The Chinese-built terminal is a great improvement over the former Marxist-era terminal but I really was not particularly impressed. It thought it was very sterile and generic with all of its glass and marble; nothing about it really screamed “Welcome to Mozambique.”


Airport Entry and Lobby

I arrived at MPM at 1530H for my 1730H flight. The check-in for TM315 has just opened at 1524 so there was a short queue. I had my baggage plastic wrapped since the service was only 100 Meticais ($3). When I tried to check-in with the agent he could not find my reservation. He eventually had to call the LAM sales office (the check-in staff are not LAM employees) and they sent someone over with a copy of my reservation and he was able to issue my MPM-JNB boarding pass and check my bags to JFK.


Maputo Counters

I passed passport control without any problems but I was shocked at how lax security was in MPM. The entire terminal only has one metal detector (that must be horrible when the TAP flights are full) and the staff didn't seem to care much if it went off or not. I forgot my mobile phone was in my pocket and set off the detector but I was just waived through once I showed the security officer my phone.


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Photo © SkyMember


My plane to JNB, C9-EMB "Chiloane"

After wandering around the 3-gate terminal for about an hour my flight was finally called to board. For some reason the staff did not use the loudspeaker and just decided to yell at the top of their lungs in Portuguese. Through passengers from Pemba were boarded first and then the rest of us.


Gate Display

TM315 had a crew of five. Two expatriate pilots, a male Mozambican purser, and one younger male and one younger female Mozambican F/A. I came to realize later on in the flight that the male FA was the purser's son as they looked almost exactly alike except for the 20 year age difference. I was greeted at the door by the purser, who checked my boarding pass and directed me to my seat.


Winglet shot. The younger FA was not as evil as he looks in the Pic.

LAM's seats were very comfortable with at least 33 inches of seat pitch. LAM's E90 has the exactly same interior configuration as Air Canada's (minus the PTV's) with 9 business class seats and 84 economy seats. Each seat had a paper headrest cover and a safety card and a copy of LAM's Indiço
magazine in each seat back pocket. The flight was about 75% full.

The flight pushed back on-time and after a Portuguese and somewhat indecipherable English safety demonstration we taxied to the runway and took-off. The climb out was very turbulent but smoothed out after about 15 minutes. The service on this flight consisted of a small snack and beverage. The “Flamingo Club” snack box consisted of a small Chicken and Mayo sandwich and a full sized chocolate bar (it was in Arabic, so I cannot tell you what brand).

The inflight entertainment consisted of reading the Indiço magazine and watching the Purser and a very arrogant DYKWIA European passenger in 18A basically get into a fight. The argument was all in Portuguese so I'm not sure what it was about but I could tell the passenger was being very rude and condescending by his tone and body language. At one point, the passenger stuck his finger in the Purser's face but the Purser handled it well by just walking away; unlike me who probably would have pimp slapped the guy after that. The Indiço magazine was interesting because it has a bizarre article where they interviewed random people in the Maputo and Johannesburg airports about their thoughts on LAM. Almost every single one of them said LAM is an mediocre airline and they need to be on-time more often. I was very surprised LAM actually printed that!


As MPM-JNB is only a 45 minute flight, we were descending into JNB before I knew it. We touched down at 1830H and were on the stand at 1837H, 7 minutes late, but acceptable. LAM uses remote gates exclusively at JNB so we deplaned via stairs and were bussed to the terminal.


On the stand in JNB.

Overall, I would say I had a good experience on LAM. They have to be losing money on the MPM-JNB route as the fares are extremely low. LAM has been having 0 ZAR and 10 ZAR plus tax airfare sales regularly since the entry of 1time into the market but I commend them for upgrading their product in the face of competition not moving down to the competition's level.

Their FA's could use a remedial English course but that was the only fault that I found. It was clean, comfortable, and on-time. LAM is one of the up and coming carriers in Africa, I am looking forward to seeing them expand and prosper in the upcoming years.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5911
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:24 am

Nice report on a smaller less travelled airline for most people here.

Thanks for sharing!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
MHTripple7
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:17 am

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:03 am

Very interesting report on the new LAM. All in all, LAM looks like a nice experience. Their planes are new and your flight was on-time. Thank you for sharing your views on this rare airline!

Quoting usflyer msp (Thread starter):
LAM is the flag carrier of Mozambique and has undergone significant upgrades over the last few years in order to support its country's booming economy. The have re-branded themselves, upgraded the fleet with new Embraer 190 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft, and launched new flights to Luanda and Nairobi and soon Lisbon.

It sure is pretty cool what these ex-Portuguese colonies are doing in Africa. Mozambique and Angola are both going through impressive turnarounds.

Quoting usflyer msp (Thread starter):
The Indiço magazine was interesting because it has a bizarre article where they interviewed random people in the Maputo and Johannesburg airports about their thoughts on LAM. Almost every single one of them said LAM is an mediocre airline and they need to be on-time more often. I was very surprised LAM actually printed that!

Now this is truly strange! Perhaps they are trying to acknowledge that they have problems and need to change?
 
ATLTPA
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:24 pm

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:42 pm

Really enjoyed this report and especially the story about the DYKWIA passenger!

One of the best...acronyms...ever!

ATLTPA
 
fasty
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:41 pm

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:17 pm

Thanks for this interesting report on a rare route.

LCC have really brought down the fares, let's hope LAM will be able to face the competition efficiently (maybe by improving their standard instead of lowering their fares)
 
globalflyer
Posts: 724
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:15 am

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:28 pm

Great short report on a carrier that is not frequently mentioned. Ok I guess I am an old timer but what does DYKWIA mean??? Still impresses me that carriers offer a real snack service on a 45 min hop. In the USA you would be lucky
to get a cup of water!
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
hz747300
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:39 am

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 5):
DYKWIA

My guess was: Do You Know Who I Am ?
Keep on truckin'...
 
User avatar
eastafspot
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:19 pm

RE: TM315 MPM-JNB

Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:57 pm

I cannot recall any recent TR about LAM, hence thanks for this update

Quoting usflyer msp (Thread starter):
and the staff didn't seem to care much if it went off or not

Terminal is brand new, but staff remains probably the same  

do you remember in which language(s) the annoucements have been done?

cheers

East African Spotter
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki

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