TAAG Angola Airlines (DT, Luanda 4 De Fevereiro) hopes to boost its foreign exchange income as it doubles its fleet from 21 to more than 40 aircraft by 2025, according to Nelson Pedro Rodrigues de Oliveira, president of the executive committee.

Speaking in Luanda last week on the sidelines of a tourism industry meeting, De Oliveira said the flag carrier was working to increase routes in Africa and Asia to generate more foreign currency income.

"We are already sending letters asking for authorisation so that we can start flying to African countries such as Ghana, the Central African Republic, Cotê d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Cabo Verde, and some countries in Asia, to increase the profitability of our ticket prices," he was cited as saying by national broadcaster TPA (Televisão Pública de Angola).

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, TAAG is awaiting 21 aircraft to be delivered - fifteen A220-300s, two B777-300s, two B787-9s, and two B787-10s. The existing fleet - of which roughly half is out of service - comprises 24 aircraft, namely seven B737-700s, one B737-700(QC), one B737-800(BCF), three B777-200ERs, five B777-300ERs, and six DHC-8-Q400s, plus one wet-leased A330-300 from Hi Fly Malta.

De Oliveira did not address the airline's recent capacity constraints that led to temporary service cuts on some domestic and international routes amid low aircraft availability in its fleet. At the time, TAAG attributed the operational difficulties to local economic challenges and restricted access to foreign exchange for purchasing aircraft parts. Over the past five months, the airline has faced significant constraints in obtaining maintenance materials necessary for its fleet.

However, he did underline the aviation industry's heavy reliance on foreign currency income, with 80% of costs incurred in foreign currency. He emphasised the need to adapt to this reality, aligning operations with currency conversion rates and the broader economic situation in the country.

Meanwhile, Portugal's Expresso newspaper reported that privatisation is back on the agenda for TAAG, which "wants to join a partner with a good name in the market" to drive tourism to Angola and traffic to the new Luanda Dr António Agostinho Neto airport, which opened for cargo flights in November 2023. Domestic and international passenger flights there have been postponed to the last quarter of 2024, according to local reports.