PARIS — TAAG Angola Airlines (DT) announced a new long-term lease agreement with Azorra for three new Airbus A220-300 aircraft. These aircraft will be delivered to the Angola flag carrier starting in July 2024 from Azorra’s order book with Airbus.
The order agreement was firmed on the second day of the Paris Air Show. The agreement was signed by the TAAG Angola Chief Executive Officer, Eduardo Fairen, along with Ron Baur, President of Azorra.
TAAG Angola Airlines CEO Eduardo Fairen commented, “Incorporating the Airbus A220 clearly demonstrates TAAG’s ambition for modernization and growth, as the company is building a versatile fleet, able to address multiple flight typologies with greater operational efficiency, covering regional and international destinations.”
John Evans, CEO of Azorra, commented, “We are thrilled to expand our A220 footprint into Africa and by partnering with TAAG on their ongoing initiatives to implement their restructuring plan and strategic objectives. The A220’s technological advancements, right-sized capacity, and range capability will be game changer in TAAG’s markets. We look forward to further opportunities to partner with Airbus supporting the A220 customer base in Africa and abroad.”
Azorra is an aircraft lessor based in Fort. Lauderdale owns and manages a fleet of 77 aircraft leased to 24 operators in 19 countries. The company ordered 20 Airbus A220 aircraft in January 2022 and ordered 20 E2 family aircraft in January 2022.
This announcement comes one day after the airline announced a long-term lease with Aviation Capital Group (ACG) for four new Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The four aircraft ordered with ACG are in addition to the airline’s current order of six A220s placid with Air Lease Corporation at the 2022 Farnborough Air Show. In total, the seven aircraft ordered this year at the Paris Air Show plus the six ordered last year will bring TAAG’s total commitment for the A220 to 13 aircraft.
The first order is expected to be delivered in January this year. Once the A220s arrive, they will replace TAAGs aging Boeing 737-700 fleet, with many having an average age of over 16 years.
With deliveries expected from 2025, the aircraft are expected to operate from TAAG’s hub at Luanda’s Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD). The A220s will help TAAG expand its route network across Africa.
The Angola flag carrier plans to double its fleet over the new three-and-a-half years by acquiring upwards of 28 new aircraft. By 2027 the carrier plans to have a fleet of at least 50 jets. The new aircraft will allow the carrier to add more routes and destinations to its development strategy. In 2022, despite high operating costs, the airline recorded a net profit and planned to build off that.
Moreover, TAAG is also awaiting the opening of a new US$5bn airport in Luanda, which is set to open in December 2023. Construction on the airport began in 2008 and is designed to handle 10 million international and 5 million domestic travelers. The airport, dubbed the New Luanda International Airport, will have the capacity to handle the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 and include two runways and three terminals.
The new airport will allow domestic and international flights to operate under the same roof, which is not the case at the existing airport. It will enable DT to create Luanda into a profitable modern hub.
Featured image: Azorra