TAAG Angola Airlines has announced its plans to resume flights to Havana. The national carrier will resume services to the Cuban capital in November, around the same time that it adds a third weekly rotation to Madrid.
Back in Cuba
In recent years, countless long-haul air routes have been forced into suspension by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Some have resumed quicker than others, and some may not return at all. However, TAAG Angola Airlines’ hub at Luanda’s Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD) will soon see multiple intercontinental boosts relating to both Central America and Europe.
One of these concerns the Angolan flag carrier’s resumption of services on its route to José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana, Cuba. These flights will resume on November 8th, initially operating once every two weeks. In December and January, the frequency will increase to weekly, before dropping to bi-weekly in February. Regarding the reopening of the route, TAAG Angola Airlines stated:
“The conditions are now ready to reconnect two countries sharing a strong bond. Passenger exchange is relevant, namely the corporate segment (Cuban doctors and teachers) entering Luanda, and, on the other hand, travels related to tourism, education, and health care going to Cuba. “
TAAG has changed its schedule after a ”
positive assessment of the business case for its intercontinental routes
. “Image: Boeing
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The resumption of the Havana flights is good news for TAAG, having also recently boosted its services to Brazil. However, Europe is also set to be the subject of a positive long-haul schedule alteration, as November 1st will see the carrier add a third weekly rotation from Luanda to Adolfo Suárez Madrid – Barajas Airport (MAD).
Madrid is a relatively new destination for the national airline, as it only began flying there in June. Nonetheless, it has already proven to be a successful venture, despite TAAG typically focusing on Portuguese-speaking long-haul destinations.
At present, TAAG is operating flights on the Luanda – Madrid route on Thursdays and Sundays. The additional rotation will be a Tuesday affair, giving passengers a good spread of flights to choose from throughout the week. TAAG is presently the only carrier offering a direct connection between Luanda and Madrid.
The extra flights to Madrid will make use of a leased Airbus A330. Photo: Airbus
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Which aircraft will be used?
In the statement published corresponding to TAAG Angola Airlines’ upcoming long-haul schedule alterations, the carrier also confirmed that the Havana-bound flights would be operated by the Boeing 777-300ER. According to data from ch-aviation.com, TAAG has five of these twinjets in its fleet. Two of these seat 289 passengers across three classes, while the other three have space for 293 guests.
Things get a bit more interesting when it comes to the additional weekly Madrid rotation. Specifically, TAAG states that “[in addition] to the current flights to Spain (Thursday and Sunday), [there is] a new connection on Tuesday, all of them operated by an Airbus A330-200 (wet lease) with capacity for 298 passengers. “
Of course, TAAG is no stranger to leasing Airbus A330s to fly to Europe. After all, Airspace Africa reported in June that it was leasing an A330-300 from Hi Fly to serve its Luanda – Lisbon route. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see where the aforementioned A330-200 comes from, and how its 298 seats are laid out.
What do you make of TAAG’s long-haul schedule alterations? Have you ever flown on one of the carrier’s intercontinental flights? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
Source: Airspace Africa