Angola’s Sonair airline stopped running domestic commercial flights with the Boeing 737-700, which provided the air link between Luanda and the cities of Cabinda, Catumbela (Benguela) and Lubango (Huila), on 30 November, a company source said.
The company source told the Angop news agency that contrary to the initial decision to terminate the three aircraft fleets (Beechcraft, Boeing and Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, in disuse), the Beechcraft aircraft will be retained due to commitments made to ‘Operation Transparency’ and to oil companies.
Likewise, he said, these same planes should continue to offer trips to Cabinda, with six connections, until further political decisions are made, as Angolan airline TAAG, is unable to meet demand for this destination.
He added, without giving a timeframe, that continuing operations is also due to the fact that, so far, the process of closing Sonair has not been completed, and it has to honour its contracts with the oil companies.
“In addition to jumping the gun on the initial move to halt flights, another inaccuracy of this Sonangol/Sonair case is related to the helicopter fleet, in supporting the transport of technical and logistical staff to oil companies operating in the country,” he said.
Sonair, in its fixed-wing fleet, has two Boeings and four Beechraft 1900Ds in operation, as well as a seventh aircraft in reserve, but was operating with only two aircraft, which were due to take their last flight on Saturday.