TAAG Angola Airlines


TAAG Angola Airlines

Infobox Airline
airline=TAAG Angola Airlines
TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola
logo=TAAG logo.gif
logo_size=150
IATA=DT
ICAO=DTA
callsign=DTA
headquarters=Luanda
parent=
founded=1938 (as DTA)
key_people=Chairman Mateus Neto
hubs=Quatro de Fevereiro Airport
focus_cities=
frequent_flyer=N/A
lounge=
alliance=
fleet_size=14
destinations=28
website=http://www.taag.aero/

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, Europe and South America. Like 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.

History

The airline was originally formed in September 1938 as "DTAndash 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 "DTAndash Linhas Aéreas de Angola". In February 1974, the airline was renamed "TAAGndash Linhas Aéreas de Angola".

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 737's, for these local flights. It also used the larger, but older, Boeing 707's, 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.

TAAG had planned to commence services to the USA, UAE and China when it receives its third Boeing 777-200ER in late 2006. The first of the two B777s will initially replace the existing fleet of Boeing 747-300 Combis on flights that link Luanda with Johannesburg, Lisbon, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. The third Boeing 777 will be used to launch flights to Dubai and Beijing.

TAAG Air Angola has been sporadically mentioned in connection with the disappearance of Ben Charles Padilla and N844AA.

On June 28, 2007, it was announced that the EU is banning TAAG from flying within the EU over safety concerns, effective July 4. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6248490.stm EU bans TAAG Angola's fleet] ]

TAAG has dry leased its first two Boeing 777's to euroAtlantic Airways.

737 Accident

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

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 have been 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 was named as George Vilanelo.

The airplane was carrying 78 passengers and 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. [ [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,21987911-401,00.html TAAG crash at news.com.au] ]

Initial press reports indicated that the airplane touched down about half way down the runway while attempting to land at M'Banza Congo. [ [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20070628-0 TAAG crash at Aviation Safety Network] ]

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Destinations

Fleet

The TAAG fleet includes the following aircraft (at March 2008) [ATDB Database, 1 April 2008] :



It is also in negotiation for a Boeing 777-300ER. The airline currently wet leases, 2 B747-400 aircraft from South African Airways. The aircraft are operating the Luanda - Lisbon route, with SAA pilots. [ [http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2006/11/14/210598/boeing-delivers-five-aircraft-in-one-day-to-taag-angola.html Boeing delivers five new aircraft to TAAG] ]

References

* [http://www.aerotransport.org AeroTransport Data Bank]
* [http://www.boeing.com/commercial/737family/news/2006/q4/061113e_nr.html Boeing Delivery]

External links

* [http://taagangola.pages.web.com/ TAAG Angola Airlines]
* [http://pages.zdnet.com/taagangola/ Taag (UK WebSite)]
* [http://www.taag.com.br/ Taag (Brasil WebSite)]
* [http://www.taag.aero/ Taag Old Site]


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