customer profile Going the distance Angola Airlines expands its fleet and service with new 777s and 737s By Dan Mosely Nov. 11 is a special day in Angola—the anniversary of its independence from Portugal. The date also has special significance for the growth of commercial aviation in this southern African nation. On that day in 2006, Angola’s flag carrier, TAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola, known as Angola Airlines, accepted a record delivery of five new airplanes from Boeing. It was the start of an ambitious fleet renewal. Over the course of an hour, TAG welcomed three Next- Generation 737-700s and two 777-200ER (Extended Range) jets into its fleet. The first 777 had made a delivery flight of 8,060 nautical miles (9,275 miles, or 14,900 kilometers) from Seattle to TAG’s base at Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport in the Angolan capital of Luanda. The flight lasted 16 hours 47 minutes. Over the years, the fleet has grown to include four 737-700s, three 777-200ERs and two 777-300ERs. When the first 777- 300ER was delivered to TAG in 2011, the carrier had the distinction of being the first African airline to purchase, own and operate the model. In April 2012, the airline announced an order for an additional three 777-300ERs. “The Boeing 777 is recognized by airlines and passengers alike as the No. 1 choice for long-distance travel,” said Joaquim Teixeira da Cunha, the airline’s executive chairman. “Coupled with our short-haul fleet of modern Next-Generation 737s, it has cemented TAG’s position as the carrier of choice for travel throughout Africa and beyond.” The 777-300ER has enabled TAG to significantly expand its route network across Asia, Europe and South America, he said. TAG now flies to 15 international cities, including Dubai and Beijing. It has an extensive domestic and regional African network, with more than 20 destinations served by 737s. The airline was founded in 1938 to operate regional flights out of Luanda, and took delivery of its first DC-3 a decade later. After Angolan independence in 1975, TAG acquired its first 707s and 737s and rapidly expanded into the international market. Today, TAG operates an all-Boeing fleet of Classic and Next-Generation 737s along with 777s. Teixeira da Cunha said the additional Boeing planes that will join the fleet will enable the carrier to take advantage of the Angolan government’s recent multimillion-dollar investment in renovating, upgrading and building new airports throughout the country. “As we prepare our airline to meet increased demand for travel to and from Angola,” he said, “adding three more Boeing 777-300ERs to our current fleet of five 777s will keep us well positioned as one of Africa’s leading airlines.” n firstname.lastname@example.org 48 BOEING FRONTIERS / OCTOBER 2013 PHOTO: A Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) in the Angola Airlines livery.
Frontiers October 2013 Issue
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