MIAMI – The first de Havilland Aircraft of Canada dash-8-400 for Luanda -based TAAG Angola Airlines – Linhas Aereas de Angola (DT/DTA) is near completion of its flight test program.
Dash-8-400 c/n 4616, Canadian test registration C-GKXM, which will become D2-TFA, named ‘Kwanza’, made its first flight on May 20 2020. It will be the first non-jet aircraft in the current TAAG fleet.
The type was initially registered on February 28th, but its test program was delayed due to the Factory shutdown due to CoVID-19.
The aircraft sports a brand new livery featuring enlarged grey TAAG titles in a new font on the forward fuselage and engine nacelles, an enlarged truncated logo on the tail, and reduced Angola Airlines titles on the right side and Linhas Aereas de Angola on the left.
The tail color extends to the bottom of the fuselage, and sweeping red and orange lines extend forward on the lower fuselage.
TAAG ordered six dash-8-400s, announced by Bombardier on March 29 2019, as an unidentified customer. The order was confirmed at the 2019 Paris Air Show, in conjunction with DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada officially taking over the type certificates of the entire dash-8 / Q Series family from Bombardier, and officially taking over the dash-8-400 production line at Downsview Airport in Toronto (YZD / CYZD).
The TAAG deliveries were originally scheduled for 4 to be delivered in 2019, and the balance in 2020. They were to be operated by a new joint venture regional carrier; Angola Expresso, which was shelved, so TAAG mainline took over the new fleet.
“TAAG is looking to the future of our fleet and the market opportunities where the Dash 8-400 aircraft will be an important part of our growth strategy. The acquisition of these new aircraft is important to support a stronger domestic network and support our regional and international network,” Rui Carreira, Chairman, TAAG Angola Airlines, said in a statement.
“The Dash 8-400 aircraft offers unmatched performance and outstanding economics that will allow us to better serve smaller communities and increase frequencies in Angola.”
The Angolan government owned TAAG currently has an all-Boeing fleet of five Boeing 737-700s, three Boeing 777-200ERs and five 777-300ERs. It previously operated Boeing 747-300s, a Douglas DC-8 and a Lockheed L1011 Tristar. TAAG formerly operated Fokker F-27 and F-50 turboprops for its regional network a number of years ago.
The dash-8s are the first regional airliners that TAAG has operated in recent years. Assorted commuter jets are operated by various small companies in Angola. The Angolan Government also owns two VIP configured Q400s acquired in 2011. It operated two dash-8-300s before that.
Article written in collaboration with Andrew H. Cline, Aviation Correspondent and Photographer