Angolan government approves conditions to receive new Boeings for national air carrier

5 October 2006

Luanda, Angola, 05 Oct – The Angolan government Wednesday approved a plan for Immediate Measures for the Organization and Stabilization of TAAG, the national airline, which aims to create conditions to receive the new aircraft acquired from Boeing, according to an official statement.

The decision was announced at the end of a Council of Ministers meeting, but the statement did not specify what the “immediate measures” were to make it possible for the aircraft to arrive in Luanda.

The document mentioned only that the measures covered maintenance and engineering, logistics, flight operations and human resources.

At the beginning of September, the Angolan Transport Minister, André Luís Brandão, admitted that the country did not have the required conditions to receive the newly acquired aircraft, and the first deliveries would be delayed until October or November.

The minister gave no reason for the delay, but the Angolan press has reported that most of the pilots and co-pilots TAAG sent to the US were having difficulties on the courses run by Boeing for adaptation to the new aircraft.

The aircraft were due to begin delivery in August after the first delivery, scheduled for July, was also delayed.

In October 2005, TAAG signed a contract with the US manufacturer to acquire six aircraft and the Angolan government approved the deal in July.

The contract is for the acquisition of two Boeing 777-200s, for long-haul flights and four 737-700s for domestic and regional routes and provides an option to buy a further three aircraft; one 777 and one 737.

The agreement also includes technical assistance for the airplanes and training of staff to fly them, which includes the courses currently being given to TAAG pilots and co-pilots in the US.

The air carrier currently operates two Boeing 747-300s for cargo and passenger transport, for long-haul flights, and five Boeing 737-200s, for internal flights and international flights to neighboring countries. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH