Angola: TAAG airline adopts new strategy to establish itself in Africa

Under the impetus of a new CEO and his team, the national airline of Angola, TAAG is developing internationally, in particular thanks to a new partnership with the Spanish company Iberia Airlines.

In this episode of Business Angola, we visit TAAG, a company with over 70 years of experience in the aviation sector.

Like many airlines, TAAG is forced to transform to meet current challenges. With new management, a new partnership with Iberia, new destinations and a desire to make Luanda an international freight hub, TAAG’s future is very bright.

“I went from a 4 hour drive to a 45 minute flight”

We are on a domestic TAAG flight between the capital Luanda and the agricultural and mining province of Uige in the north of the country.

It is one of the airline’s 14 destinations within Angola, to which are added a dozen international destinations.

Passengers are already seeing a difference in the new TAAG, the acronym for “Transportes Aéreos Angolanos”.

Antonio Oliveira, a diamond trader, travels to Uige and appreciates that he no longer has to drive more than four hours to get there.

“The flight between Luanda and Uige is only 45 minutes by plane. I think it’s much better because people save a lot of time,” said the Angolan businessman.

“The progress is visible. TAAG has really grown. You can see the difference even in services and prices. I think they are on the right track”he adds.

Partnership with the Spanish airline Iberia

These comments please the new CEO of TAAG Eduardo Fairen. With decades of experience leading airlines in Latin America and Spain, Eduardo Fairen is transforming the Angolan airline with a brand new team.

_”I have had the fantastic opportunity to launch successful airlines and reorganize older ones. And I have also had the opportunity to have an outstanding team that has always enabled us to achieve these objectives. _We are all on the same wavelength and the goal is very simple. We want to take part in the championship.” explains Eduardo Fairen.

To achieve this, TAAG has partnered with Iberia under a codeshare agreement. TAAG will also benefit from Iberia’s hub in Madrid, which will connect it to the rest of the world.

TAAG is again certified by European regulators, and the alliance with the Spanish company is a major boost for the Angolan company to spread its wings around the world.

For the Spanish CEO, Iberia would have made a very good deal, because Angola and TAAG want to make themselves known on the international scene.

“The partnership with the Iberia airline gives them access not only to more destinations in Europe, but also in North and South America. There is no massive cost, but great exposure for both companies”, explains director at JLS Consulting.

A promising new airport

Meanwhile, Angola is building a niche for itself in Africa, with a new airport in the capital Luanda due to open at the end of 2023.

Antonio Agostinho Neto Airport, named after the country’s first president, is designed to handle 15 million passengers a year.

In the West Africa region, this will probably be the only operational hub, as the nearest hub is in Dakar or Casablanca. And in the south, the city of Johannesburg is 4 hours from here”, said Mr. Fairn.

This is why TAAG is already increasing the number of its destinations. It is planning more flights to Mozambique, Namibia and Brazil to meet market demand.

TAAG will be privatized by 2025, which could help it raise the capital needed for expansion.

For John Strickland, the key to success lies in investor confidence. _”_TAAG has an opportunity to grow and if investors are confident that the business is run profitably, they may well be able to attract the necessary funds for the privatization plan.” explains the analyst.

With this new partnership, TAAG, one of the oldest national airlines in Africa, is betting on an ambitious strategy.


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