TAAG Angola Airlines sees improved financial results under Emirates management team
TAAG Angola Airlines has announced a dramatically better result for 2016 over 2015.
In the first full year of operation under the Management Concession Agreement between Emirates and the Government of Angola, losses have been slashed from $175m to $5m. The Ernst and Young-audited figures for January to December 2016 were approved at the airline’s Board meeting on 9th March 2017.
Peter Hill, chairman and chief executive of TAAG, said: “This result is very pleasing for all of us, especially the Government of Angola, TAAG’s sole owner. Since arriving in September 2015, my team and I have concentrated on removing unnecessary costs, improving our financial accounting and cash management, redesigning the route network and schedule, and a myriad of other tasks to collectively lift TAAG’s financial performance – all whilst improving and maintaining a safe and efficient operation. Indeed, without a substantial “carry-forward” of costs from previous years, we would have announced a profit for 2016, a remarkable turnaround which surely has few parallels in the aviation business.
“There is still a vast amount to do, notably in terms of improving our customer service to a “best in Africa” level, in order to attract new customers and higher yields. General market conditions remain very challenging, especially in Angola, but we will do our best to repeat this performance in 2017. We have some more room for cost reduction, as well as untapped revenue opportunities as we continue to improve our network, sales and commercial teams.
“The small and experienced team which I brought with me deserve a lot of credit, but so do many of our Angolan colleagues who are responding to new challenges, and world-class practices, with enthusiasm and a desire to learn. Meantime, we have reduced staff numbers from 3559 to 3268 through scheduled retirements and natural attrition. Additionally, we have received much support from the Minister of Transport and many others in the Angolan aviation community.”
TAAG has taken delivery of two new Boeing 777-300s in the past year and a half and now operates 8 Boeing 777s for long-haul and 5 Boeing 737s for regional and domestic routes. The airline has become the market leader on the Angola-Portugal route by some distance, and is expanding its connecting business between Southern Africa, Portugal and Brazil – the opening of a route to Maputo in Mozambique last November has added to this effort. The most recent schedules see improved frequency to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and a daily flight to Cape Town in October.
“There are many hurdles in front of us”, said Hill ” but TAAG’s future is bright as we strive to make the airline profitable before 2019, the target of the original Emirates/TAAG business plan, and transform it into an airline that Angola and Angolans can be proud of.”