Aviation: Southern African Carrier, TAAG Angola To Increase Fleet Capacity As It Leases With Six Airbus A220s From ALC

TAAG

Southern African Carrier, TAAG Angola Airlines is adding its first Airbus aircraft with a long-term lease for six A220s from Air Lease Corporation, ALC.

According to simpleflying.com, the six Airbus A220-300s will be delivered to TAAG Angola Airlines (TAAG) starting in January 2023 through to 2024.

They will come from Air Lease Corporation’s (ALC) existing A220 orders with Airbus, which at the end of June included seven A220-100s and 68 A220-300s. ALC’s orders also had four Airbus A320neo and 179 A321neo aircraft. At the end of June, ALC’s fleet was 392 owned and 89 managed aircraft, with 430 new aircraft orders from Airbus and Boeing planned for delivery through 2028. ALC executive chairman Steven Udvar-Házy said:

“ALC is pleased to announce this significant lease placement for six new Airbus a220s with TAAG and be the first to introduce Airbus aircraft to the airline. The capabilities of the A220-300 will greatly enhance TAAG’s operational efficiency and expanding route network with the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.”

READ: Africa: TAAG Angola Resumes Aviation Operations From Lagos To Luanda

Compared to its existing Boeing B737-700s, TAAG says that on long-haul routes, the A220s will cut fuel consumption by around 30% and overall operational costs by 20%. The A220s will progressively replace the B737-700s, which, according to ch-aviation.com, have an average age of more than 15 years.

TAAG has 21 aircraft in its fleet, including one Airbus A330-300, six Boeing B737-700s, three B777-200ERs, five B777-300ERs and six De Havilland DHC-8-Q400 turboprops. TAAG says the versatility of the A220 gives it the range flexibility to cover intra-African and intercontinental markets with state-of-the-art efficiency. The announcement suggests they will have a two-class layout, with 12 executive class and 130 economic class seats, a seven to eight-hour range and 28 m3 of usable cargo volume.

On July 2, TAAG took delivery of its sixth De Havilland DHC-8-Q400, named Dande and registered D2-TFF. TAAG says the lower operating cost of the Dash 8 makes it ideal for medium-haul international routes, such as Windhoek in Namibia, Maputo in Mozambique or Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 74-seat turboprops are configured with ten business class and 64 economy seats.

TAAG was founded in 1938 and has been through some difficult times, including a period when Emirates managed it. The lease with ALC is a source of pride for TAAG’s management, who said yesterday that this outstanding outcome validates that the company has restored its international reputation while dealing face-to-face with major stakeholders such as Airbus and Air Lease Corporation. CEO Eduardo Fairen added:

“We are alive, back in business, breaching with the past to achieve greater results and becoming a reference for Africa. This partnership emphasizes our commitment to grow and further improve our credibility among international stakeholders while creating a new value proposition for our passengers.”

For long-haul routes the B777 is the aircraft of choice
TAAG serves around 26 destinations, 14 in Angola and twelve internationally. Its base is in the Angolan capital of Luanda at Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD), although that will likely change when the new Angola International Airport is completed.

Construction of the new $15 billion airport began more than a decade ago, and after numerous delays, it is forecast to open at the end of 2023.

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