Angola Resumes its Air Relations with Cuba

The flights between Luanda and Havana will start this November 8. (TAAG Airlines)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 23 August 2022 — Angola’s state airline, TAAG Airlines, will cross the Atlantic Ocean again from Luanda to Havana beginning November 8, according to an official announcement by the company.

“After the positive evaluation of business for the intercontinental routes (America and Europe), TAAG is in a position to resume connections with Cuba/Havana,” the Angolan Day published a few days ago.

The flights will be made on board a Boeing 777-300 on a biweekly basis, starting in November, and it’s expected that weekly trips can be made from December. Later, in February 2023, the biweekly frequency will be resumed, says the Angolan newspaper.

There is already a flight schedule that includes November 8 and 22, and December 6, 13, 20 and 27. On the other hand, in January 2023, travelers will be able to book on February 3, 10, 17 and 24, and also on February 14 and 28.

Departure from Luanda will be at 10:00 p.m. and a landing in Havana is scheduled for 6:00 a.m. the next day, local time. Departures from the Island will be at 11:30 a.m., with an arrival in Luanda at 7:00 p.m. the next day. On its social networks, the airline has begun to promote its relaunch to the island and invites bookings on the first dates.

TAAG Airlines paused its flights due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and was only allowed some humanitarian or cargo trips. This airline had operated without interruption between the two countries from 1984 to 2020.

In June of this year, the CEO of TAAG, Eduardo Fairen, announced that the company is preparing to be privatized before 2025, as has happened with the rest of the companies involved in the aviation sector, prior to the open skies agreement.* Several months before these statements, in February, the company acknowledged that its debts to international suppliers are around $250 million.

Cuba and Angola established diplomatic relations on November 11, 1975 and have maintained close ties since then. Between that year and 2002, more than 300,000 Cuban soldiers participated in the civil war that broke out in Angola after its independence from Portugal, a colonial power for four centuries.

Earlier this year, the Minister of State of Angola, Adao de Almeida, visited the island and together with Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas reaffirmed the desire to promote “economic cooperation” between the two countries. “Today, Havana and Luanda are focusing on promoting the links between the Mariel Special Development Zone and the Special Economic Zone of the Nation of West Africa,” says a statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry, dated February 28 of this year.

With the election in 2017 of a new president, João Lourenço, a review of the cooperation with Cuba began, which the former head of state, José Eduardo dos Santos, handled with a suspicious generosity.

In December 2020, Luanda annulled a million-dollar contract with Havana for “failure” of its obligations in the construction of a road. The company Imbondex Construcciones y Materiales de Construcción S.A. belonged to the Cuban military conglomerate Gaesa (Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A.).

In 2015, Cuba had more than 4,000 aid workers deployed in Angola, including 1,800 doctors and 1,400 teachers.

A few days ago, more than 260 young Angolans returned to their country after graduating in healthcare specialties in Cuba, including Medicine, Stomatology, Optometry and Optics, Rehabilitation, Hygiene and Epidemiology, Nutrition, Health Information System, Veterinary Medicine, in addition to others such as Agronomy and Civil and Industrial Engineering. According to the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the island has trained about 45,000 Angolan students.

*Translator’s note: An agreement in which aircraft can fly between two countries without any restrictions.    

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.