Mozambique’s Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario was left stranded Thursday as the state airline was forced to cancel flights over a financial crisis that left it unable to buy fuel.
Do Rosario, who had been due to fly from the capital Maputo to Niassa in the northeast on official business, was eventually forced to take an airforce plane to reach his destination, reports said.
“LAM Mozambique Airlines confirms that because of limited finances it was impossible to supply aircraft with fuel meaning that the first flights of the day could not be operated,” the airline said in a statement.
“After talks with the fuel supplier, aircraft were refuelled and flights resumed at 11:20 am (0920 GMT),” it added calling the incident “embarrassing”.
Departure boards at Maputo’s airport showed that every LAM flight due to operate on Thursday had been cancelled.
Mozambique has been in the grip of a deep financial crisis since 2015 when hidden state borrowing of about $2 billion (1.7 billion euros) was discovered, prompting international donors to terminate aid contributions.
As the government struggles to plug the gap, many state-run enterprises like the largely government-owned LAM are on the verge of bankruptcy.
In it most recent accounts, LAM reported a loss of $67.5 million.