Monday, April 29, 2013

► ANGOLA: Airbus bemoans TAAG's staunch loyalty to Boeing, claiming B777 deal price was excessive.

TAAG logoReports out of Angola claim that attempts by European aircraft manufacturer EADS, the parent company of Airbus SAS, to get their foot into the Angolan market via TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola (DT), have been rebuffed outright.

TAAG 777 in Lisbon
TAAG 777 in Lisbon (CarlosAlberto)
According to Jornal de Angola, during a recent luncheon with visiting journalists at the manufacturer's Toulouse, France facility, Airbus' Vice President of Sales for Africa, Hadi Akoum, said that several attempts had been made to get in touch with TAAG but that none of them had met with any success, let alone a response.
"We have no relationship with TAAG but would like to change that," he said. "We have forwarded several letters that have had no response from TAAG. They have refused to receive us, but we are patient. It was very important that they receive our business proposals, instead of buying Boeing aircraft at USD200million. That is a price far above the market norm."
The executive director of TAAG, Rui Carreira, has in the past ruled out any chance of the Angolan company diversifying its fleet. 
"It makes no sense for TAAG to diversify its fleet as appropriate studies have led us to opt for the 777 line for the long haul and the B737-700 for medium-haul," asserted Carreira while being questioned on the offer from Airbus.
Aside from the odd Ilyushin IL62, TAAG has remained a staunch Boeing operator since independence from Portugal in 1975, and this despite Luanda's historically strong diplomatic and economic ties with Moscow, particularly before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Currently it has a diverse fleet of B737-200ADVs, 737-700s, 777-200ERs and 777-300ERs with more to come.