Fly Angola (Luanda) is in the final stages of acquiring an E120 in a plan to use mid-sized aircraft to target growth in Angola's domestic market, Forbes has reported.

The virtual carrier, which launched services in September 2018, currently sub-contracts a local partner, AeroJet (Angola), to operate a three-route domestic network with an E145, D2-FDF (msn 145221) linking Luanda with Dundo and Saurimo in the east and Benguela in the west.

The domestic market is chronically under-served, Belarnício Muangala, the carrier's general manager, told Forbes, adding that when the company secures its own Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), it will use the E120 and later a second E145 to launch routes to the country’s western and northern provinces.

“Since 2017 we have been forecasting the market for overall investment in the economy of Angola, and we identified a big opportunity in [domestic] aviation,” he said.

Scheduled traffic in Angola is dominated by two state-owned airlines: the flag carrier TAAG Angola Airlines, whose smallest aircraft is the B737-700, and Sonair, which uses five DHC-6-300s carrying up to eighteen passengers and two B737-700s among various other fixed and rotary winged aircraft.

The 50-seat E145 and 30-seat E120 are a better fit for the country’s domestic routes, Muangala said. The E120 will be operated under a long-term dry-lease and registered under AeroJet’s AOC so it can immediately begin service.

For four days a week, it will be based at Benguela, a coastal city to the south of the capital that Fly Angola has earmarked as “mini-hub” attracting traffic from Namibe, Lubango and Ongiva.

The E120 will be based in Luanda for the rest of the week, making triangle flights to the northwestern oil-producing regions of Soyo and Cabinda. If Benguela is successful as a mini-hub, Luena in eastern Angola could also be used to boost connectivity to points such as Menongue, Saurimo, and Dundo, Muangala said.