TAAG Angola Airlines launched a new regional feeder, as part of a Public Private Partnership that brings private and government groups together for the launch of a domestic airline operation for Angola. The other members of the consortium include ENANA, Airjet, Air26, Bestfly, Diexim, Mavewa, SJL and Air Guicango.
The consortium is currently in the process of establishing a management team and the operational structure for Air Connection Express.
Air Connection Express to acquire six new Q400s, via African Aero Trading, who on behalf of the airline signed a firm purchase agreement with Bombardier for the aircraft. The deal is valued at US$198 million.
Delivery of the first two Q400s are expected in 1H 2019, in line with the commencement of operations. Two more aircraft will arrive by 2019 end, followed by remaining two in 2020.
Also, as part of the agreement, Bombardier to train 120 people to work as flight attendants, pilots and mechanics for the new airline, as well as place a representative in the country for three years.
ACE, based in Luanda, will operate the Q400 domestically to connect smaller communities and increase frequencies as a regional feeder airline to TAAG Angola Airlines - national carrier of Angola.
The Q400s will replace the use of TAAG's B737-700s on short-haul routes. The new aircraft will also join two MA60s recently acquired.