LOL: Qatar Airways Considering TAAG Angola Investment

Filed Under: Other Airlines, Qatar

There’s a new five star airline on the horizon!

Qatar Airways Considering TAAG Angola Investment

Angola’s Novo Jornal is reporting that there are talks taking place about the possibility of Qatar Airways investing in TAAG Angola. Allegedly Angola’s transport minister was recently in Doha for these discussions.

Under the proposed agreement, Qatar Airways would acquire a 39% stake in TAAG Angola, and would take over management. Meanwhile the government would retain a 51% stake, and 10% would remain with employees.

The deal isn’t necessarily expected to close immediately, but rather in either 2020 or 2021.

Qatar Airways Likes Investing In Airlines

We know Qatar Airways likes investing in foreign airlines. They own stakes in IAG (the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus), LATAM, Cathay Pacific, Air Italy, and more.

In general the investments in which they seem to take a hands off approach do fine (like their investment in IAG), while the investments where they exert more influence don’t do all that well (like their investment in Air Italy — the airline lost a massive amount of money last year).

Air Italy A330

TAAG Angola Is A Whole Different Animal

While Qatar has invested in a variety of airlines, I don’t think they realize the extent to which TAAG Angola is a bit different. I flew TAAG last year in first class from Lisbon to Luanda to Sao Paulo, and the second flight was one of my worst flights ever.

TAAG Angola first class

In an alternative universe is there a chance TAAG Angola could be turned around and could be profitable? Absolutely.

On Planet Earth is there a chance that could happen? I’m going to say that it’s highly unlikely. The odds are better of Trump giving up his Twitter account, Shawn Mendes kissing Camila Cabello in a non-awkward way, or any couple of 90 Day Fiancé not making me bang my head against the wall.

If Qatar Airways thinks they’ll actually be able to turn things around while being a minority shareholder, I personally think they’re nuts.

TAAG Angola business class

Emirates Has Tried Managing TAAG Before

Qatar Airways wouldn’t even be the first Gulf carrier to try to turn TAAG Angola around. In 2014 Emirates and TAAG Angola formed a partnership, which included Emirates executives coming in and trying to turn the airline around. After a few years they gave up and cut their losses.

TAAG Angola 777-300ER

You’d think Qatar Airways would learn their lesson with this stuff. Etihad invested in Alitalia and that was a disaster, so Qatar’s response was… to also invest in an Italian airline?

Bottom Line

Based on my experience flying with TAAG Angola, boy would I love to see this happen. Dine on demand? Smiles? Friendly service? Being addressed by name?

(Tip of the hat to Live and Let’s Fly)

  1. I don’t know who Shawn Mendes or Camila Cabello is (really, I’ve never heard of them, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see them kiss or do anything else). I do know lots of other things though. And one of those things is that you are a racist, and apparently not shy about showing others. Proud of it even. Yeah, LOL.

  2. What’s another few million dollars to an airline likely already throwing hundreds of millions down the drain each year?

    Qatar Airways’ management aren’t particularly constrained by the need to make a profit so seem quite happy to buy up stakes in airlines to increase their political influence instead, there is no doubt more to this than a desire just to try to turn TAAG around.

  3. @Art I’m also curious how you came to the racist conclusion. Is it because he didn’t enjoy his TAAG flight?

  4. I’m sorry you had the worst flight of your life while flying with TAAG, that it was so bad to the point of you saying there is no chance of us (I’m Angolan) ever improving. To be fair though, I have to admit that our Airline is currently not operating at it’s best, but that doesn’t mean we a hopeless case.

  5. Angola is a fantastic country with the most wonderful people you will ever meet. I’d rather gwo there than to the US any day of the week. The country has so much potential and I’ve had good experiences with TAAG. Yes, there are challenges and yes, the airline is not up to your snooty first world standards but who cares? Only you because your little perfect world is all that matters to you. I love Angola, I love Africa, and if you don’t go find something to complain about in your own neck of the woods.

  6. @Chris, quality air service in Africa happens. I have had excellent success personally with ET, a profitable airline. Two examples on the same trip just a few weeks ago.

    1) My flight into Addis was delayed and I was concerned I would miss my international connecting flight. Nope, they had a shuttle at the foot of the stairs off the plane to whisk me (and others also connecting) directly to the stairs of the next flight. We showed our boarding passes, took our seats, and off we flew. I cannot even conceive of that happening in the U.S.

    2) I was getting ready to board a different flight and someone pulled me out of the line, together with a Nigerian physician and his wife. We had no clue what was going on. After everyone else was on board, the agent said our boarding passes were being “changed.” She came a moment later with the new passes – for business class. No explanation given.

    To say that TAAG can improve goes without saying, and evidently Qatar feels it has a formula for that. I’d love to see it, since Angola is on my radar for a future visit.

  7. They’re… pulling an Etihad? Surely Air China/China Southern would be a more worthwhile investment. Wonder why Emirates execs pulled out of the deal, could it be the same reason Malaysia’s non-local CEOs resigned? Naw, not possible! AAB wouldn’t so much indulge himself in the idea anyone at TAAG will follow his directives. Moreover it’s not like Angola has any political value to buy, compared to say China, Britain, or the US. I don’t see why anyone would be interested in drilling for oil there either, to be sold where exactly?

  8. @ Chris Bakker, please stop the pathetic line of the “people are wonderful” tie in to every freaking description of an African country ever written. I’ve lived in East Africa for 6+ years. The people are….people.

    Angola’s tragedy is the amount of wealth it has and the way it’s been hoarded. Nobody can change that but the Angolans.

  9. @John – the “pathetic line” that African people are wonderful only irritates people who don’t want it to be true. Sure, there are bad apples but there is a warmth and honesty that I haven’t found anywhere else in 50 years of traveling the world. To me Africa remains the single most interesting and satisfying continent to visit. If you have only lived or visited East Africa I suggest you give the rest a try, especially countries like Ghana and Senegal.

  10. The EK team improved Taag hugely but they were never able to remove a lot of the employees as it was too politically sensitive. Unfortunately Taag has some senior staff mismanaging their departments but they are protected politically. With only a 39% stake, I think Qatar will also struggle to remove these staff.

    EK were also unlucky in that the oil price fell soon after they entered their management agreement and the Kwanza devalued hugely. Angola imports aviation fuel and so Taag’s fuel costs shot up hugely soon after the deal was signed. Nonetheless, EK still almost got Taag to break even in 2016 following years of catastrophic losses.

    EK were also hampered by Government interference and met huge resistance when trying to reduce Taag’s loss making domestic network and some loss making international routes such as to Cape Verde.

    I also think Qatar are brave to fly a 787 to LAD. 787s require stable GPUs which the parastatal handling agent Ghassist lacks. Also, when loading a 787 one needs to understand that any damage to a 787 may not be so visible as on older aircraft, as the the 787 fuselage is composite and not aluminium. So there may be damage beneath the surface on a 787 that is not visible if a loader knocks it. If a loader knocks an aluminium frame aircraft there will be visible surface damage. A 787 requires ground staff to have a reporting culture however small a knock happens, which sadly Ghassist currently lacks.

  11. @Art you need to brush up on your vocabulary. Lucky did not once mention the race, but he was critiquing the airline. To criticize an airline that is a company is not racist in it itself. Now, if he were to criticize the specific people who work for the airline by making derogatory statements about their race, ethnicity, national origin, or even culture you may have a case against Lucky.

  12. I didn’t see any racial innuendo here. The guy was just honestly critiquing TAAG and that’s it. And to the guy going on about Africa nice people rhetoric, please keep that to yourself. I’m not flattered. Nothing ever works in our countries. It’s sickening. There isn’t a single profitable African airline. Please!

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