Scheduled flights between Angola and China starting in 2009

18 December 2008

Beijing, China, 18 Dec – The two biggest airlines in Angola and China plan to organise scheduled flights between the two countries as of 2009, as part of a deal signed Thursday in Beijing.

The agreement was one of four signed at the Great Palace of the People in the presence of Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, and China’s President Hu Jintao, and which also included the areas of culture and economic and technical cooperation.

The ceremony marked the second day of an official visit by dos Santos to China, which will continue until Friday, and whose delegation includes three ministers (Foreign Relations, Transport and Finance).

According to Angolan sources, “there are Chinese people working in all 18 provinces of Angola,” and, this year, the embassy in Beijing has granted over 40,000 visas.

Last Saturday, Angolan airline Taag launched a direct 13-hour flight between Luanda and Beijing, and according to the Angolan source, initially scheduled flights will be weekly.

Due to its oil exports to China, Angola is now the country’s biggest economic partner in Africa.

Large Chinese companies are involved in the Angolan national reconstruction programme, which has funding from Beijing estimated at US$5 billion.

According to the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, trade between Angola and China in the first nine months of the year totalled US$20.8 billion, or 126.2 percent more than in the same period of 2007. (macauhub)