DALLAS – Flag carrier TAAG Angola Airlines (DT) has announced that it is increasing frequencies between Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). From August 14 the flights will be flown four times per week every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Flights will be operated by one of the carrier De Havilland Dash 8-400 turboprops.
The carrier said the route would “promote trade, business development and mobility between Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)” by providing an additional frequency. The route between Luanda, Angola’s Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD), and Kinshasa International Airport (FIH) is 343km, well within the range of the Dash 8-400. TAAG’s Dasdh 8s have a capacity of 74 passengers: 64 in economy and ten in business class, with each cabin having its own lavatory.
The statement further mentioned the first-ever Economic Forum Angola – DRC in Kinshasa, where the main focus was “Economic Partnerships towards mutual growth.” The Forum brought together government officials and business leaders from both nations. Furthermore, Angola and the DRC share an extensive border where there is a large flow of bilateral trade. Lastly, the two countries are members of regional organizations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (CGG).
As the African aviation market continues to rebound back to pre-pandemic levels, TAAG has continued to grow. In 2022, despite high operating costs, the airline recorded a net profit and planned to build off that. Moreover, the Angola flag carrier plans to double its fleet over the new three-and-a-half years by acquiring upwards of 28 new aircraft. By 2027 the airline plans to have a fleet of at least 50 jets. The new aircraft will allow the airline to add more routes and destinations to its development strategy.
The backbone of TAAG’s regional fleet is the Dash 8-400 and the Airbus A220. The airline chose the Dash 8-400 to develop its domestic, regional, and international network. Furthermore, TAAG also chose the aircraft due to its hot and high performance and its operating economics. TAAG first accepted its first Dash 8-400 in June 2020.
Moreover, TAAG is also awaiting the opening of a new US$5bn airport in Luanda, which is set to open in December 2023. Construction on the airport began in 2008 and is designed to handle ten million international and five million domestic travelers. The airport, dubbed the New Luanda International Airport, will have the capacity to handle the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 and include two runways and three terminals.
The new airport will allow domestic and international flights to operate under the same roof, which is different from the existing airport. It will enable DT to create Luanda into a profitable modern hub.
Featured Image: TAAG Angola Airlines Dash 8-400. Photo: De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited.