Angolan state oil company Sonangol has decided to bring an end to the air link it operates between Luanda and Houston in the United States, given that the route operated by its subsidiary SonAir has accrued high monthly losses due to the low occupancy rate, the chairman announced recently.
Carlos Saturnino, quoted by state newspaper Jornal de Angola, said that the direct connection to Houston, known as the “Houston Express,” is one of the routes that the group invested in the most, but with a maximum occupancy rate of 38%, it generated estimated losses of US$2.5 million per month.
The chairman of Sonangol said that the Board of Directors is assessing the best business model for the airline subsidiary, which includes the fleet of helicopters that support the oil industry.
Saturnino said it was a difficult decision, but given that the planes are old and need to be replaced and that there are more competitive routes to the United States, it was decided to end the “Houston Express” from 29 March, when the last flight will be offered.
Inaugurated on 6 November, 2000, the “Houston Express” is the only direct air link between Angola and the United States, and until last year was exclusively reserved for oil industry passengers, but since then it has been extended to anyone who wants to travel to the United States. (macauhub)