Angola Airlines becomes first African airline to receive Boeing 777-300ER


Africa’s first Boeing 777-300ER has been delivered to Angola’s flag carrier TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola (Angola Airlines). Last week the carrier ordered two more 777-300s from Boeing.

The aircraft was delivered on Thursday last week, Boeing has announced. “This is a proud day for Angola and its people,” said TAAG chairman Antonio Luis Pimentel Araujo. “Taking possession of this airplane and being the first in all of Africa to buy, own and operate the airplane further confirms TAAG’s commitment to leadership and innovation in African aviation.”

Two 777-300ERs were ordered by TAAG in October 2009, with options for two more. The carrier will use them in its route expansion programme, including on direct flights to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Lisbon and Oporto. TAAG expects to receive the second 777-300 next month.

TAAg is also preparing its application to fly into the United States with its new 777-300ERs. TAAG currently flies 777-200ERs from Luanda, Angola to Lisbon seven times weekly, to Beijing once a week, to Dubai twice weekly, to Sao Paulo four times a week and to Rio de Janeiro three times weekly.
“Boeing’s relationship with TAAG began more than 30 years ago when the first Boeing 737 arrived in Angola in 1976,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president, Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Since that time, Boeing and TAAG have enjoyed a partnership built on continuous advancement in technology and innovation, evident in TAAG’s selection of the 777-300ER. Boeing looks forward to continuing its lasting partnership and proud history with TAAG.”

TAAG will configure its 777-300ERs to carry 293 passengers in a three class configuration.
“The Boeing 777-300ER is recognized by airlines and passengers alike as the No. 1 choice for long-distance travel. These two 777s will help expand our premium service offerings to Europe,” Araujo said.

Last week it was announced that TAAG was purchasing another two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with GE90 engines, assisted by an approximately US$256 million long-term loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

The two aircraft are worth US$375 million, according to Agencia AngolaPress, and will be paid for in instalments.
“Ex-Im Bank”s financing support of our acquisition of 777-300ER aircraft is critical to TAAG’s success in achieving a strongly competitive position in the Africa-to-Europe marketplace,” said Dr Pimentel Araujo, chairman of TAAG Angola Airlines.

Ex-Im Bank previously provided approximately US$338.5 million in loan guarantees in 2006 to assist TAAG Angola Airlines in its purchase of four B737-700 and three B777-200ER aircraft.

TAAG Angola Airlines was founded in 1938 and is based in Luanda, Angola’s capital. The state-owned airline has operated flights both domestically and internationally and primarily serves the major cities of Angola and cities in Europe and South America.