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TAAG Angola Airlines
TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola
TAAG logo.png
Founded 1938 (as DTA)
AOC # 001[1]
Hubs Quatro de Fevereiro Airport
Fleet size 11
Destinations 33
Company slogan "Always at Your Company"
Headquarters Luanda
Key people Chairman Mateus Neto
TAAG Boeing 737-700 at Windhoek Airport

TAAG Angola Airlines (Linhas Aéreas de Angola) is the national flag carrier of Angola. Based in Luanda, the airline has a large domestic network and flights to other parts of Africa and South America. Like Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways, TAAG has been one of the few profitable sub-Saharan African carriers and one of the few to recently purchase newly built aircraft as opposed to second-hand aircraft. It is 100% state owned by the Angolan government and itself owns 100% of subsidiary Angola Air Charter.


EU banned airline status

TAAG Angola Airlines was previously banned from operating in the European Union community due to unacceptable safety standards, but on 3 July 2009, TAAG Angola Airlines was partially lifted from the EU blacklist allowing them a gradual return to flying in Europe with their own aircraft, beginning with Portugal, although however, there are still operating restrictions. The first flight to Lisbon was on 1 August 2009 with a Boeing 777-200ER.[2]



Colonial Era

The airline was originally formed in September 1938 as DTA– Divisão dos Transportes Aéreos, by the Portuguese Colonial Government as a division of the Administration of Railways, Harbours and Air Transport. Operations started on 17 July 1940 using De Havilland Dragon Rapide biplanes.

In 1940, the airline was renamed DTA– Linhas Aéreas de Angola. In February 1974, the airline was renamed TAAG – Linhas Aéreas de Angola. "TAAG" is an acronym for Transportes Aéreos Angolanos.


In 1975 after independence from Portugal the airline was named Angola's national flag carrier. During the 1970s the airline acquired several Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft along with Boeing 707 long-haul jets and Boeing 737s arriving in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Fokker F-27s were introduced on domestic routes at this time.

The Angolan government formed TAAG Air Angola for domestic operations. The airline relied on smaller jets, such as the Boeing 727 and Boeing 737s, for these local flights. It also used the larger, but older, Boeing 707s, as well as two examples of the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar in the 1990s.

TAAG began flights to six other African countries, as well as to Lisbon, Paris, Rome and Moscow.

TAAG bought a Boeing 747 with these longhaul routes in mind. Flights to Havana, via Sal Island, were operated for many years to transport Cuban advisors and other personnel, often on a fortnightly schedule. When granted rights to fly to Cuba, TAAG gained the distinction of being the only African airline to fly to José Martí International Airport in Havana.

In 2005, it was announced that TAAG was to order three Boeing 777-200ERs and four Boeing 737-700s. It was originally intended that these aircraft replace TAAG's ageing fleet of Boeing 747-300s and Boeing 737-200s. However, these new aircraft ended up simply adding to TAAG's fleet.

On 11 November 2006, two Boeing 777s and three 737s were delivered to TAAG. They immediately placed the 777s on the Luanda - Lisbon, Johannesburg, and Paris routes. Because the 777s were originally unable to fly from Angola to Brazil due to ETOPS restrictions, TAAG was forced to continue using the Boeing 747-300 on flights to Brazil.

Banned From The European Union

On 28 June 2007, it was announced that the EU is banning TAAG from flying within the EU over safety concerns, effective 4 July.[3] This left TAAG with two 777s sitting in Luanda unable to fly to any of TAAG's long-haul destinations. Therefore, to increase aircraft utilization and minimize losses, TAAG decided to initiate flights to Dubai and Beijing. To continue operating flights to Europe, TAAG wet-leased a Boeing 747-400 from South African Airways. This aircraft was flown with a South African flight crew and a mixture of TAAG and South African cabin crew.

In August 2008, TAAG took delivery of its third 777, D2-TEF.

Airline Reconstruction

In November 2008, the TAAG board was ousted and a new board was appointed in an effort to get the airline removed from the EU blacklist.

On 29 May 2009, it was announced that TAAG had passed IATA inspections.[4]

On 3 July 2009, it was announced TAAG will be permitted to operate flights to Europe with very strict operating conditions. TAAG was only permitted to fly into Lisbon and could only use their three Boeing 777-200ERs to operate these flights. They were also permitted to operate a maximum of ten flights per week.

On 1 August 2009, TAAG's first flight departed from Luanda to Lisbon after nearly 2 years of being banned from EU airspace. TAAG then returned the Boeing 747-400 back to South African Airways.

In October 2009, TAAG began Boeing 777 flights to Rio de Janeiro from Luanda. This occurred after TAAG gained the necessary ETOPS certification to operate these flights.

On 27 November 2009, the European Commission announced that TAAG is permitted to fly its four Boeing 737-700s into Portugal, in addition to its three Boeing 777s.

Boeing 737 Crash in M'Banza Congo

On June 28, 2007, it was reported that a TAAG 737-200 had crashed in northern Angola.

Portuguese news agency Lusa said the Boeing 737 had taken off from the Angolan capital, Luanda, and was trying to land in M'banza Congo in the province of Zaire, which is in northern Angola near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is understood at least 5 people were killed and 66 injured. Among those killed in the accident is the municipal administrator of M'banza Congo and a senior Roman Catholic priest from Italy. The priest's name was George Vilanelo.

The airplane was carrying 78 passengers when it crashed at 13.30 local time (12.30 GMT).

The agency said the plane lost control upon landing and crashed into a building, destroying it. The director of the Angolan airport authority, Aeroportos de Angola, Celso Rosas told national radio the pilot had missed the runway for an unknown reason while attempting an emergency landing. It said a number of severely injured passengers were taken to hospital for treatment.

According to aviation sources in Luanda, the aircraft apparently punctured two tires upon landing, causing one wing to dip and touch the runway. The plane then veered out of control and crashed into the building, they said.[5]

Initial press reports indicated that the airplane touched down about half way down the runway while attempting to land at M'Banza Congo.[6]

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.



The TAAG fleet includes the following aircraft (at 3 July 2009):[7]

TAAG Angola Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers Routes
Boeing 737-200 2 130 Domestic
Boeing 737-700 4 120 Domestic and Regional
Boeing 747-300M 2 270 Long haul
Boeing 777-200ER 3 255 Long haul
Total 11


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