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Fly Angola Ceases Domestic Operations Amidst Economic Challenges
Fly Angola has recently announced the suspension of its domestic flight network, citing losses from unfavorable policies and increased operating costs, driven by the devaluation of the kwanza against the dollar. The airline plans to re-evaluate its strategy and aims to resume operations once sustainable conditions are ensured.
The move leaves state-owned TAAG Angola Airlines as the sole domestic player. Fly Angola had intended to expand with interprovincial connections, but the difficult financial environment and lack of subsidies made it unfeasible, ch-aviation reports.
Financial Struggles and Currency Fluctuations
Fly Angola’s decision to suspend domestic flights comes as a consequence of a series of challenges compounded by unfavorable economic conditions, the airline said in a statement. The devaluation of the Angolan kwanza against the US dollar has particularly impacted the airline’s operating costs, leading to an unsustainable financial situation. The airline expressed that it faced “continuous challenges caused by incalculable losses resulting from bad conjunctural policies.”
With most of the airline’s costs indexed to the US dollar, “the fluctuation of the kwanza created financial uncertainty and disparities, rendering the airline’s tariffs and overall operating expenses unclear.”
As Fly Angola primarily operates within the domestic sector, its lack of international routes further strained its financial viability. Despite aspirations of expanding internationally, the airline struggled to secure the necessary travel and transit rights in neighboring countries, impeding its growth plans, per a company statement.
While the airline, which operated a small fleet consisting of a De Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 and two Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft, grapples with its challenges, the national carrier TAAG Angola Airlines has reported profitability, thanks in part to government subsidies.
Fly Angola’s CEO, Belarnicio Muangala, noted the government’s financial support for TAAG, suggesting that such aid made it challenging for competitors to thrive.
“As an airline that does not receive state subsidies and that suffered incalculable losses, FLY Angola was forced to seek profitability in other regions to avoid bankruptcy,” the airline said. “As you will have noted, the government continues to pump financial subsidies and aid into TAAG, making it unsustainable for competition to survive the current economic distress.”
African aviation has historically been characterized by national pride and ambitious endeavors. Carriers like Ethiopian Airlines and Egyptair have set the standard for the region. However, several challenges, including short-lived ventures and limited airspace access, have hindered the growth of new entrants.
Fly Angola remains optimistic about its future prospects. The airline intends to collaborate with relevant authorities to strengthen its position and ensure a sustainable, long-term investment. The goal is to resume operations with renewed vigor, providing quality services to the people of Angola.
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