Angola - Country Commercial Guide
Transportation (Aviation and Rail)
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Angola’s air and rail transportation capacity expansion are high priorities in the Angolan government’s development plans.  The Chinese government has provided financing primarily for air and rail infrastructure, while U.S. companies are leading in the supply of aircraft and locomotives.  Angola has a 20-year investment program (2018 – 2038) for seaport, railway, road and airport infrastructure, which is focused on improving the movement of people and goods across all 18 provinces; increasing private sector financing through the use of public private partnerships; and improving Angola’s transportation connectivity to the sub-region and the rest of Africa.

Leading U.S. exports to Angola in this category: 

Table 1: Leading U.S. exports to Angola in this category: 
HTS CODEDescription(US$) 2019(US$) 2020(US$) 2021(US$) 2022
88Civilian aircraft, engines, and parts13 million5.5 million2 million16.8 million
86Railway or Tramway Locomotives, Rolling Stock, Track Fixtures and Fittings, and Parts Thereof; Mechanical Etc. Traffic Signal Equipment of all Kinds0.35 million69.2 million2.5 million2 million
87Vehicles, Other Than Railway or Tramway Rolling Stock, and Parts and Accessories Thereof6 million6 million5 million10 million
89Ships, Boats, and Floating Structures1.8 million0.2 million30 thousand100 thousand


A new international airport has been under construction 40 km southeast of Luanda for the past 18 years.  Construction is nearing completion, and the Government of Angola is launching a tender for airport management in October 2023.  The airport was expected to begin operations by 2020 but the Government of Angola announced that the project would be put on hold to review the design and engineering and determine if any corrective measures would need to be implemented.  After further review the Ministry of Transportation (MINTRANS) determined that the cost of the corrective actions would be  approximately US$ 1.4 billion.  The project was being led by a consortium of Chinese companies, China International Fund (Infrastructure), China National Aero Technology International Engineering Corporation (Equipment), and China Hyway Group Limited (Rail Access) in conjunction with the Brazilian company Odebrecht. However, in February 2019, the Government of Angola announced that it had canceled the contract with the China International Fund (CIF) due to nonperformance.  CIF was replaced by Aviation Industry Corporation of China.  

Envisioned as a major transportation hub for the region, the airport is designed to accommodate 15 million passengers annually with 12 aircraft docks.  The 4,200- and 3,800-meter runways, VIP passenger terminal, and air traffic control tower are reportedly already completed.  Plans are underway to widen the access road and establish a new rail link to the new airport from Luanda.  The 2023 Angolan state budget allocated approximately US$ 149 million for construction of the new airport and US$ 26.9 million for rail link access.  On June 17, 2022, the New Luanda International Airport made its first test flight as part of its certification process.  The new facility is slated to be  finalized by November 2023, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

The current international airport, 4 de Fevereiro, serving both international and domestic flights, is limited to 5 gates and 2 runways of 3,700 and 2,600 meters.  On March 11, 2019, a presidential decree was issued authorizing modernization and expansion of the existing airport and on November 9, 2019, the Minister of Transportation signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE to develop various projects, including the renovation and modernization of the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport.  Approximately, US$ 300 million was expected to be allocated for the entire expansion project in the 2020 Angolan state budget, but in 2022 the state budget only provided funds for the renovation of the runways. 

Secondary airports in Catumbela (Benguela) and Lubango offer regular domestic and regional international flights.  Of the total of 30 airports located throughout the country, 17 have been renovated recently, though only 12 of these receive regular commercial flights from the national air carrier Transportes Aéreos de Angola (TAAG).

The Angolan Assembly in July 2021 approved the creation of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), to replace the former Ministry of Transportation’s National Institute of Civil Aviation (INAVIC).  ANAC establishes and enforces the regulations and standards for aviation operations and security and follows the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) security standards and is working towards positioning Angola as a regional aviation hub.  ANAC is preparing for an ICAO audit, originally scheduled for 2020, which has been delayed due to the recent travel restrictions.  ANAC has also been working with a U.S. consultancy firm to improve its systems and processes with the objective of obtaining Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category I status.  Achieving this objective is integral to the Angolan government’s strategic plan to establish direct flights between Angola and the United States.

In July 2019 the National Company of Airport Development and Air Navigation (ENANA), which managed the country’s civilian airports, was restructured into two companies: the National Society of Airport Management (SGA), which is responsible for the management and operation of the national airports, and the National Air Navigation Company (ENNA), which is responsible for air traffic control and safety of air navigation. Board members for both companies were approved in November 2019.

TAAG operates under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation, and services 12 domestic and 13 international destinations. TAAG’s fleet includes 13 Boeing aircraft (five 737-700, three 777-200, and five 777-300.)  In June 2019, TAAG ordered six Dash 8 – 400s from the company Bombardier (Bombardier sold its Dash 8 program to De Havilland Canada Ltd.).  The last Dash airplane arrived in Angola in July 2022.  In 2022 TAAG leased 6 Airbus A220-300s from Air Lease Corporation, an arrangement made during the Paris Air Show 2022. During the Paris Air Show in 2023 the company Azorras, confirmed that TAAG signed a lease for three more A220-300s starting in 2024.  TAAG also leased three 737-700 airplanes from Boeing.  The airplanes are expected to start flying in October 2023.  The Angolan government expects to privatize TAAG as announced before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  According to TAAG’s CEO this will happen before the opening of the Open Skies agreement for Africa in 2025. To learn more about the future of the Angolan Air Carrier, TAAG, please visit: .

Small private air transport companies also operate in Angola but are not allowed to travel in European or American air space, including Mavewa, Helimalongo, Heliang , Gira Globo, Fly540, Diexim, Angola Air Services, Air26, Air Nave, Air Jet, Air Guicango, Aerojet, Best Fly and SJL.

Table 2: Aircraft and Aviation Equipment
Aircraft and Aviation Equipment20182019202020212022
Total Local ProductionN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total ExportsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total Imports363710781106
Imports from the US20.7135.5216.8
Total Market Size363710781106
Exchange Rates245365520625460

Units: US$ millions
Source: United States International Trade Commission and Global Trade Atlas

Leading Sub-Sectors


  • Air navigation equipment and support
  • Primary and secondary radar systems
  • Surveillance systems
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Ground maintenance and handling equipment
  • Aircraft refurbishing parts and services



Given the age of some aircraft in TAAG’s fleet, opportunities may exist to remodel or refurbish aircraft.  TAAG’s heavy maintenance is handled in-house with TAAG technicians and components supplied by Boeing.  More complex maintenance and overhaul takes place in South Africa, Ethiopia, and Morocco.  GE engine maintenance is handled at the GE service hub in the United Kingdom.  

The new Luanda International Airport under construction will represent a major expansion over the current airport.  While the new airport’s civil construction is underway with Chinese and Brazilian companies, opportunities reportedly exist in the areas of air navigation equipment and support, primary and secondary radar systems, surveillance systems, and safety.  The current international airport in Luanda is not TSA certified, while the new airport is expected to have the necessary security infrastructure and processes in place to qualify for this status.  The 2023 Angolan national budget allocated US$ 132 million for the air transportation sector, which should support new construction and upgrades.  A large part of the US$ 141 million budget for air transportation is dedicated to  building infrastructure for the sector, which includes the new Luanda airport.  Ground handling company Ghassist plans to procure a range of new baggage and passenger handling equipment to meet the needs of the new airport.  The company advises that much of their equipment is U.S.-made; therefore, it is anticipated that U.S. companies would be well positioned for these new opportunities.  Similar opportunities exist for ground handling upgrades during the 4 Fevereiro Airport renovations.


The Angolan government operates three separate railroad lines – Luanda, Benguela, and Moçamedes - each with its own Administrator reporting to the Ministry of Transportation.  The Angola National Institute of Railroad (INFCA) establishes the regulations and standards for railroad operations and holds enforcement authority.  The Luanda line runs 425 km northeast from Luanda to Malange.  The Benguela line, known as the “Lobito Corridor”, runs 1,344 km from the Lobito port east to Luau on the Democratic Republic of Congo border where a dry port and logistics center are planned.  The Benguela rail renovation completed in 2014 was financed by the Chinese Government with construction by the China Railway Construction Company.  These lines are designed to connect Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to Angola’s Lobito Port, providing them with closer ocean port access.  The African Development Bank is funding a feasibility study to refurbish the rail line connecting Zambia and Angola and link to the Benguela line. The southern Moçamedes line is 857 km long and connects Namibe to Menongue.  The government-owned railroad companies are responsible for the railroad operations and maintenance, including the purchase of spare parts.   In 2010, Presidential Decree 195/10, instituted reforms in the railroad sector, allowing for the private concession of railroad operation and maintenance activities.  However, to date there have been no private companies providing these services.  In 2021 the Angolan government launched a public tender for the concession of the Lobito Corridor for the next 30 years, which will be one of the most important rail corridors on the continent.  The Ministry of Transportation announced on July 20, 2022, that a consortium comprised of Trafigura, Mota-Engil, and Vecturis had won the tender, beating out a consortium of Chinese companies. Following the concession for the consortium Lobito Atlantic Railway, the United States, through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) and the European Union plan to explore cooperation in three specific areas, namely investments in transport infrastructure; measures to facilitate trade, economic development and transit; and support to related sectors to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth and capital investment in Angola, Zambia and DRC over the long term.

Because of the new Luanda International Airport, the Government of Angola is building a new Luanda city light rail, from downtown to the new airport. The budget allocated for 2023 is around US$26.9 million.

In 2015, GE Transportation signed a contract to provide 100 GE C30ACi locomotives to Angola with deliveries that began with 15 locomotives in 2016 and 64 locomotives in 2017.  The remaining 21 locomotives were delivered in November 2020.  The GE locomotives are concentrated in the Benguela and Moçamedes lines for cargo use and support mining development in Angola.  The Luanda rail lines will undergo some alterations to be able to support the weight of these locomotives throughout its route.  According to INFCA, the Government of Angola requires U.S. standard engines in their locomotives to streamline maintenance.  Fifteen previously delivered Chinese locomotives in Angola have Caterpillar engines.

In February 2020, the governments of Angola and Germany signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a surface metro in the city of Luanda.  Minister of Transportation, Ricardo D’ Abreu, said that the first phase, connecting the Port of Luanda with the Kilamba area just outside of Luanda, would cost US$ 3 billion and that construction was supposed to start in 2022, but according with the Ministry they are still finalizing the studies.  Angola will own 30 percent of the project.  It is expected that the light rail system will have 149 kilometers of track and will be built by Siemens Mobility.

In addition, Angola has received seven suburban trains out of a total of 10 diesel multiple units (DMU) purchased from Singapore.  These trains have a capacity of 700 passengers.  Luanda Railways received four trains, Benguela Railway received three and Moçamedes Railway will receive three.  It is believed that the purchase of these trains is being financed by China.

Table 3: Locomotives, Rail Technologies, and Equipment
Locomotives, Rail Technologies, and Equipment20182019202020212021
Total Local ProductionN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total ExportsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total Imports8141351259.8

Imports from the US


Total Market Size8141351259.8
Exchange Rates245365520625460

Units: US$ millions
Source: United States International Trade Commission and Global Trade Atlas

Leading Sub-Sectors


  • Signaling and control equipment
  • Railroad maintenance equipment
  • Passenger carriages
  • Freight and tank carriages
  • Maintenance and repair parts (wheels, axles, bearings)
  • Maintenance centers and training
  • Locomotives for shunting



The 2023 Angolan national budget allocated US$ 62 million to support the development of the rail sector and economic growth.  To expand the railroad cargo network, the Ministry of Transportation will require passenger, freight, tank carriages, and related operations and maintenance support.  The railroad infrastructure completed by the Chinese Railway Construction Company will require maintenance of the 2,600 km of tracks and accompanying railroad automation controls and signal systems.

In recent years, Angolan Ministry of Transportation officials have visited railroad industry representatives in France, Spain and the United States and are eager to build Angolan railroad capacity with private sector participation.  Future Angolan government plans include linking the three railroad lines through the construction of three additional lines, totaling over 10,000 km, but financing has not yet been identified for this project.  A project to connect the Benguela and Moçamedes lines was announced in March 2017 through an agreement with two Russian companies (75 percent investment by Rail Standard Service and 25 percent by Fortland Consulting Company).

According to recent information from the Ministry, the Moçamedes Railway will follow the same process  from the Lobito Railway and will have a future tender for concession.

In December 2015, the Government of Angola launched the Metropolitan Master Plan of Luanda “Luanda 2030,” which entails plans for modernizing the city’s infrastructure to accommodate a projected population of 13 million..  The plan was approved by the current Government in 2018.  One of the main pillars of the 2030 Luanda masterplan is the transportation sector, with the planned installation of an above ground urban rail system that would include a connection to the new international airport that is under construction.  In recent years there have been no additional developments regarding Luanda’s Master Plan.


Ministry of Transportation




National Company of Airports Exploration and Air Navigation (ENANA)

National Institute of Civil Aviation  

TAAG Airlines  


United States International Trade Commission

Global Trade Atlas


For information contact:

Mauro Fonseca, Commercial Assistant

U.S. Commercial Service Angola

Tel: (+244) 222 641 253

Mob: (+244) 929 667 036