Aviation in Angola:TAAG Moves Towards Excellence

Aviation in Angola is slowly having a fresh breath of life after decades of disasters as the African nation's economy roars full steam ahead.What do you know about Angola's flag carrier,TAAG?What does the future hold for Angola's flag carrier?

DTA,the predecessor of TAAG's airline was an institution established on September 8,1938.It is therefore considered the "Mother" of TAAG-Angola Airlines,which celebrates 72 years of existences this year.DTA started flying in 1940,2 years after its creation,with Dragon Rapid,Klemen and Leopard Moth planes beginning with domestic routes Luanda-Mocamedes Luanda-Lobito.Its first international flight was Luanda-Ponta Negra(Congo Brazzaville).

In 1948,the company bought DC-3 and Douglas Aircrafts and in 1962 it bought Fokker Friendships F-27.In 1973,the DTA became a mixed capital company designated TAAG-Angola Airlines SARL,with the majority of its capital belonging to the government of Angola,30% TAP and the rest distributed amongst private shareholders.

After independence in 1975,TAAG began flying between Luanda and Lisbon,operating with Portuguese aircraft with the initials DT from TAAG.In Angola,the jet age began in 1976,with the acquisition of the first Boeing 737-200.This also marked the introduction of the current symbol of the Giant Sable Antelope.This was followed by the Boeing 707 which provided a high growth for the company.

In two years,1977-1979,the company had a growth from 230,000 passengers in domestic flights to 795,947.In 1986,TAAG was flying one million passengers at atime when civil war meant that air transport was the only link between the provinces.TAAG,unlike other African airlines,was in fact sustained by domestic flights as war meant that roads and waterways were heavily mined as war raged on thus rendering them impassable.

The years 1993/1994 were marked by the opening of the Harare and Johannesburg routes while the reopening of the Lusaka scale occurred in 1995.In 1997,TAAG began operating with Boeing 747 in the Lisbon,Johannesburg,Paris and Rio de Janeiro routes.

 But the true renewal of TAAG's fleet happened in 2006 ,with the acquisition of two Boeing 777-208 and four 737-700 ER NG.The year 2007 was however a dark year for TAAG when the European Union included the airline in the list of airlines banned from flying in the EU,the so called blacklist.This led to new measures for the "refoundation" of the company.

In a short time,TAAG managed to adapt to new legislation and civil aviation regulations to meet the requirements for the IATA Operational Safety Audit(IOSA),hence becoming a full IATA member and returning to the European Skies.TAAG management ,marked the year 2009 as "the beginning of a new era,toward excellence".The airline has opened new routes from Luanda to Dubai,Sao Paulo,Cape Town,Central Africa and reopened the Havana scale.

The year 2010 saw the launch of a new website and orders for two B777-300 aircraft and more codeshares with other international airlines.Fans of TAAG will expect the airline to introduce a frequeny flyer program soon,perhaps by 2011.It has been said that with the entry of Ethiopian Airlines into Star Alliance,Africa has been fished dry of potential alliance partners.Could Angola's TAAG be a future alliance candidate on its match towards excellence?
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4 Responses
  1. coldtusker Says:

    I think KQ is a better fit for TAAG (though ET is not a bad choice) & the recent code-share with KQ might have been the start. Luanda might be a good hub for KQ for Sao Paulo & S.African destinations...

  2. I agree,KQ has a talent for building the right alliances at the right time.But the competition is getting stiffer as KQ's fierce rivals in the Star Alliance,SAA,ET and MS,are working on building a new legacy airline to cover the 'white spot' in the African Skies(Central/West Africa)

    The future lies in KQ focusing on building alliances with bigger and stronger regional airlines in Africa like TAAG,Air Nigeria and so on instead of acquiring small airlines.I think their strategy to build a strong African network is the right strategy.

  3. MSVG Says:

    It has been mentioned that KQ and ET have expressed their desire to São Paulo.

    Would these flights be non-stop? ET's new 77L will soon be delivered and that's a good aircraft to use for this route. KQ has its 777-200ER too.

    What's the load factor on LAD-GRU flights of TAAG?

  4. And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

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