A Moçambique Expresso Embraer ERJ-145 was forced to make an emergency landing after it veered off its planned runway in gusting crosswinds. Flight TM-165 from Nacala to Maputo, with 25 passengers and four crew on board, came to a stop safely, but became entangled with bushes adjacent to the runway.
There were no injuries on board the aircraft, but the carrier has announced that the damage to the aircraft will need a full assessment.
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According to The Aviation Herald, the crew on board the Moçambique Expresso Flight experienced a sudden slip of the aircraft, and attempted to correct its movement. However, despite the action of the pilots, the jetliner exited the side of the runway.
The crosswind at the time of the incident was in the gale-force bracket, having been measured at 50 mph. All passengers and crew on board were able to exit the aircraft safely, but an investigation on the incident has been opened by Moçambique Expresso.
LAM Mocambique Embraer ERJ-145 (C9-MEH, built 2000) operating on flight #TM165 ran off the end of runway 05 on landing at Maputo Intl Airport (FQMA) ending up in bushes. Strong winds prevailed at the time. All 29 pax+crew escaped unscathed. @AllexandreMZhttps://t.co/Sj0AXQZtVb pic.twitter.com/uiBVaX8BlV
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) October 1, 2019
Moçambique Expresso is based in Beira, Mozambique, and would certainly be considered one of the smaller and lesser-known carriers. The airline currently operates domestic and regional scheduled and chartered services, with its main base being Maputo International Airport. The carrier began its life as a Special Operations Department of LAM Mozambique Airlines, before becoming independent in 1995.
Moçambique Expresso fleet
The Moçambique Expresso fleet currently consists of two Embraer EMB 120RT Brasilia airliners and three Embraer ERJ 145MP aircraft. The airline also previously used two CASA C.212- Aviocar airplanes, and two British Aerospace Jetstream airliners. At one time, the carrier also operated three Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 aircraft.
The airline industry in Mozambique and Africa, in general, is still relatively embryonic, but there are signs that it is beginning to become more established. An example of this was the agreement signed by Mozambican Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita and his Zimbabwean counterpart, Joel Matiza in July, which will see the countries’ national airlines fly between the two nations without any barriers.
And the African Union has also been attempting to create a single and unified air transport market in Africa. There are still significant restrictions to civil aviation across the continent, but the Single African Air Transport Market aims to liberalize conditions and create a vibrant market for air travel.
This follows on the back of the Yamoussoukro Decision, agreed in 1999, which envisaged a complete liberalization of the aviation market in Africa, enabling free access, and exercise of traffic rights, to all African countries. The decision also sought to end restrictions on ownership and create a completely free market with respect to the frequency of flights, fares, and transport capacity.
As the African market slowly but steadily begins to open up, Ethiopian Airlines announced the launch of a thrice-weekly service to the city of Beira, in central Mozambique, just last month. Ethiopian Airlines has indeed been one of the busiest airlines in Africa recently, having also announced a new service to Houston in July.