The entire board of TAAG Angola Airlines (DT, Luanda), including Chief Executive Officer Rui Carreira, has been axed by presidential decree in line with the Angolan government's plan to restructure and privatise the airline, according to an announcement by President João Lourenço.

The move is part of the implementation of TAAG's restructuring plan and strategic objectives and follows Presidential Decree No 186/20 of July 17, 2021, by which the nominal value of TAAG's share capital was adjusted and the company's shareholder structure was adjusted to no longer be wholly-owned by the state, according to a Presidency statement.

Those dismissed include Board Chairman Hélder da Silva Gonçalves de Moura e Preza; CEO Rui Carreira; and eleven board members. According to State broadcaster Rádio Nacional de Angola (RNA), Carreira has, however, been given a non-executive directorship on the airline's new Board. Carreira did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Angolan media reports that former Viva Air Perú chief executive Eduardo Fairen Soria will replace Carreira as CEO of TAAG. Soria is also a former chief operations officer at Camair-Co, head of operations and training at Air Arabia Maroc, and director of flight operations and co-founder of Spanish budget carrier Vueling Airlines (Feb 2004 - Jul 2009), according to his LinkedIn profile. Sources in the know said Soria would be taking over as CEO at TAAG after a board meeting scheduled for next week. Soria himself declined to comment.

RNA reported that Ana Francisco da Silva Major has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Board. Other executive directors include Custody Gabriela Bastos, Adelaide Isabel de Sousa, Steve Taverney Azevedo, and Lisa Mota Pinto.

As previously reported, the Angolan government is to start the privatisation of TAAG in 2022, as part of the administration’s state asset privatisation programme (PROPRIV). This is to involve the restructuring, recapitalisation, and modernisation of the airline.

TAAG was already transformed from a state-owned corporation into a public limited company in November 2018 in order to attract private investment. Lourenço at the time also dismissed TAAG's management board.

In 2014, TAAG had entered into a 10-year management deal with Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l), which oversaw a major restructuring programme, but the relationship ended abruptly in 2017 over the repatriation of ticket revenues.

Editorial Comment: Added information on the new Board. - 25.10.2021 - 08:27 UTC