Aviation in Angola is comprised of several local airlines, all of which are blacklisted from flying to the European Union with exception of TAAG, which is subject to conditions. TAAG Angola Airlines is the flag carrier of Angola. Based in Luanda International airport, the airline has a large domestic network. The Department of Civil Aviation regulates all activities of civil aviation in national and international airspace within the jurisdiction of Angola.
Airports in Angola
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fastjet has reported a USD42 million net loss for the six months to 30-Jun-2013, but its directors remain upbeat about the fledgling African LCC’s prospects, with its Tanzanian domestic operations exceeding expectations and making a profit on an underlying route basis. But the directors acknowledge in the unaudited accounts that the carrier will need to raise further funds in the future “which represents a material uncertainty over going concern”.
fastjet’s ambition to establish Africa's first pan-African low-cost carrier is continuing to encounter strong headwinds. On its own admission, the Tanzanian market is too small to sustain the company and international expansion is critical to its longer term survival.
But the first international route from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg has, perhaps predictably, run foul of South Africa’s bureaucrats forcing the eleventh hour postponement of the route launch by about two weeks to the middle of Oct-2013. fastjet will compete against South African Airways (SAA) as the only other operator on the route and has promised to reduce fares by 60%. fastjet is taking online bookings for flights departing from 18-Oct-2013.
Air Zimbabwe is about to move into the next phase of its rebuilding programme with the launch of three more regional services and its first long-haul service to London since the carrier was grounded under a mountain of debt in Jan-2012.
The Zimbabwe flag carrier plans to commence regional services from its Harare hub to Lusaka, Zambia and Lilongwe, Malawi, as well as to Durban, South Africa in Oct-2013. This will be followed by the resumption of service to London Gatwick in Nov-2013 with refurbished 767-200s.
Air Zimbabwe relaunched in Nov-2012, operating Harare to Johannesburg followed by domestic services from Harare to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls in Apr-2013. As part of a recovery plan the workforce has been cut from over 1,000 to about 300 and fares have been slashed as part of a three month campaign to restore public confidence the carrier which previously linked Zimbabwe to its neighbours as well as Europe and Asia.
Air Namibia, the state-owned national carrier of Namibia has been loss making since inception, but under a new government funded five-year turnaround strategy the carrier is slowly moving towards financial sustainability through investment in new aircraft and improved revenue management systems.
Air Namibia has a long history of government assistance to remain operational. A previous turnaround attempt used nearly NAD2 billion (USD196 million) in government bailout funds between 2003 and 2009. The current plan, which was announced in 2011, is expected to see the carrier break even by 2016 at an expected cost of NAD1.6 billion (USD156.9 million) to the taxpayer.
The carrier also signed its one and only codeshare with Kenya Airways in Jul-2013 covering services between Lusaka and Johannesburg and Windhoek and Nairobi. The partnership provides valuable access to the important East African hub of Nairobi, while also extending Kenya Airways' presence in southern Africa through its strategy of working with smaller African carriers.
Air CEMAC, a proposed start-up joint venture between six central African nations and Air France is inching its way to fruition. But tense negotiations between the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) member states of Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Republic of the Congo, and their prospective strategic partner Air France are at a delicate stage as the latest deadline to launch the carrier by the end of 2013 looms.
A key sticking point appears to be Air France insisting on taking a strategic 33% blocking stake in the joint venture while also demanding that Air CEMAC be granted a monopoly on future CEMAC regional routes, a proposition that could be severely damaging to the region’s existing carriers.
Air CEMAC aims to provide regional services linking the CEMAC states as well as the island nation of São Tomé & Príncipe to the rest of Africa. The plan has been 10 years in the making and Air France is almost certainly the final chance for the union to turn their wish for a common carrier into a reality as the original start-up capital is reportedly almost exhausted. Three potential strategic partners, Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and most latterly South African Airlines have all previously looked and walked away.
Angola has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years renovating, upgrading and building new airports throughout the country which were damaged during the nation’s destructive 27 year civil war following independence from Portugal in 1975.
The investment is beginning to pay dividends with flag carrier TAAG Angola Airlines increasing capacity by nearly 40% in the past year. But competitor Fly540 Angola is struggling to make headway in a market beset by bureaucratic red tape and corruption.
And despite Angola being one of the world’s strongest performing economies, owing to its vast oil reserves and diamond mining industry, the benefits of the nation’s wealth are yet to flow through to the general population.
Lagos-Recife and Lome-Rio de Janeiro are risky routes to launch but if successful they could usher in a new era for the under-served Brazil-Africa market. There is huge potential for new services linking Latin America and Africa but airlines from both sides will need to offer a multitude of connection options and have the right partnerships in place for pioneering routes to succeed.
Direct links between Latin America and Africa have traditionally been limited. But the Brazil-Africa market is poised for rapid growth, particularly as the Brazilian government promotes more trade with Africa.
Several carriers, including Ethiopian Airlines and Brazil’s Gol, are eager to tap into the growing demand. Ethiopian is launching three weekly flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo via Lome on 1-Jul-2013. Gol aims to launch three weekly flights from Recife in northeast Brazil to Lagos in Nigeria by the end of 2013.