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TAAG Angola Eyes Regulatory Approval For Durban Flights

TAAG Angola Airlines still has plans to add Durban King Shaka International Airport (DUR) as its third destination in South Africa but is waiting for regulatory approval. The airline also seeks to connect more cities with Angola once it shifts operations to the new Luanda Airport.

Flying to a third major South African city

TAAG Angola initially planned to launch flights between Luanda and Durban in November 2022. The airline’s CEO revealed that the route is still in the pipeline, but the carrier is waiting for permission from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) before it can come online.

The Angolan carrier would fly to Durban three times a week, becoming one of the few international airlines serving South Africa’s three major airports. Currently, TAAG flies to Johannesburg OR Tambo (JNB) daily with the Boeing 777 and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) daily with the 777 and 737. With the addition of Durban, the carrier would operate at least 17 weekly flights to SA, potentially adding more in the future.

TAAG CEO Eduardo Fairen Soria said to Simple Flying;

“We need to connect Luanda with many places. Some are the major capital cities of the countries, and in the case of South Africa, we are looking for the three major cities at the moment. Through Luanda, we can connect them with other parts of the region or some other intercontinental destinations.”

While the airline is conservative with its expectations, it has seen good demand for flights to Durban and will see if it can match customer expectations after launching the route. However, further delays could force the carrier to look at alternative destinations, depending on the post-pandemic trends in the market.

Moving to a new hub

Angola is going through a historical change, with the opening of a new international airport in the capital. The new Dr António Agostinho Neto Airport (PNR) will be officially inaugurated on November 10 and replace Luanda Quatro de Fevereiro (LAD) as Angola’s main international airport. The new hub will have enhanced passenger and cargo handling capabilities.

According to Eduardo, Quatro de Fevereiro will be closed for commercial operations, and TAAG will relocate to the new facility. The national carrier expects to completely “move houses” and shift all domestic, international, and cargo services, together with external airlines, by July 2024.

Adding more connections from a new hub

TAAG Angola Airlines flies to over 12 international destinations, connecting Luanda with key African cities like Johannesburg (JNB), Cape Town (CPT), Lagos (LOS), and Windhoek (WDH). It has also played an essential role in connecting South America with Africa through its direct link between Luanda and São Paulo Guarulhos Airport (GRU).

The opening of Dr António Agostinho Neto Airport will unlock several opportunities for the national carrier. The airline can open new routes and add more destinations to its network as the improved facilities will allow it to operate more flights at peak times. Eduardo Soria added;

“This is a big change as we are changing our house, simple as that. The airport is much bigger, much wider, and has better functionalities. Clearly, we will have more neighbors than today; that is normal, but that also gives us the possibility to grow and expand to some other destinations that we couldn’t because Quatro de Fereiro is well restricted.”

The company also seeks to move its headquarters within or around the new Luanda Airport. The staff has moved to a temporary facility while they decide where the final site of TAAG will be.

Source : Simple Flying