By Victor Shalton
TAAG Angola Airlines Receives First of Six Dash 8-400s
TAAG Angola Airlines, the national flag carrier for Angola yesterday received its first of six Dash 8-400 aircraft from De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited. This introduction of Dash 8-400 is expected to support the growth of TAAG’s network.
“We selected the Dash 8-400 aircraft to support our development of a stronger domestic network and also to support our regional and international network,” said Rui Carreira, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TAAG Angola Airlines.
“With our acceptance of our first Dash 8-400 aircraft, we are continuing to implement our restructuring strategy and enhancing our service to smaller communities. The Dash 8-400 aircraft is well known for its comfortable amenities, operational versatility and outstanding economics, which will be critical for TAAG’s operations where large aircraft are not economical. We look forward to its introduction to our fleet and to the diligent, ongoing support of De Havilland’s teams as we build our network,” continued Mr. Carreira.
The order was first announced by Bombardier Commercial Aircraft on March 29, 2019 as an order from an unidentified customer. The disclosure of the previously unidentified customer was done in a press conference at the 53rd international Paris Air Show, which followed the completion of transition of Bombardier’s Dash 8/Q series aircraft program from Bombardier to De Havilland Canada.
The event at the Paris Air Show was attended by Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu, minister for transportation, Angola, David Curtis, chairman, Longview Aviation Capital and Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada.
“We are delighted to announce that TAAG has taken delivery of its first Dash 8-400 aircraft which was completed through a delegated delivery process,” said Mr. Young
“Amidst the current health restrictions facing many countries and the need for efficient regional aircraft to restart air services, we have developed a remote delivery process to support our customer’s recovery efforts. Regional aircraft are proving to be the most important tools to support market recovery and De Havilland Canada’s teams are standing ready to provide ongoing service solutions to support TAAG’s success.”
“The Dash 8-400 aircraft has proven its reliability and flexibility in Africa’s most challenging environments, including the hot and sandy regions in North Africa and the Ethiopian Highlands. The aircraft’s hot and high operational capability, along with its jet-like speed and comfort – while retaining turboprop economics – are well suited for Africa and contribute to the aircraft’s diverse customer base,” added Mr. Young
COVID-19 outbreak has changed the aviation dynamics and no one really knows when passenger demand for flights will surely recover meaning governments will have to spend more significant amount of money to prevent their carriers from collapsing.
Even as TAAG intends to face this crisis head-on, the demise of other unsupported carriers would surely create some hole in connectivity, given the bilateral restrictions on flight operations between states and therefore, it will take some time before other airlines within the region to increase connectivity.