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The country has already authorized 205 humanitarian flights. There is no forecast for resumption of commercial aviation

Transport Minister Ricardo d’Abreu said that Angola has already authorized 205 humanitarian flights since the closure of borders due to the covid-19 pandemic, adding that there are no plans to reopen commercial aviation.

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At a press conference on the extension of the state of emergency in Angola for another 15 days, the minister stressed that the national health fence was maintained, as is the case in many other countries and destinations, where "international connections are prohibited", with no forecasts for resuming commercial flights.

"We have no forecast, either for the reasons of our state of emergency or for the international side," he said, stressing that the destination countries "have the same limitations".

Ricardo d'Abreu said that humanitarian flights have been authorized to pick up foreign citizens to return to their countries of origin, as well as flights to transport goods, through TAAG, which carries out two flights a week to collect cargo in Portugal, and other airlines.

"We have already authorized 205 flights within the humanitarian and emergency spirit, in which nearly 2000 citizens of our country left, always following the logic of what is allowed in this area", stressed the minister, adding that "we cannot encapsulate the humanitarian and emergency figure in services of a commercial nature by some private operators, who try to do so ”.

Ricardo d’Abreu stressed that authorizations must always be granted through “diplomatic and protocol channels”.

Regarding the new emergency period, with less restricted measures, the minister said that “economic flights” will be allowed outside Luanda, where the sanitary fence remains, and an executive decree to regulate the activity is being prepared.

Asked about the news that reports of possible redundancies at TAAG, namely the dismissal of retired employees to mitigate the company's financial crisis, Ricardo d'Abreu said it was “false” that the Angolan company is firing employees because “the presidential decree thus forbid it ”, during this period.

He added, however, that according to the TAAG restructuring plan “there was and there is a surplus of people that will have to be effectively treated, but not at this time, nor in these circumstances”.

The restructuring plan will have to be implemented to ensure "that we have an operational and efficient company that can sustainably continue its operation", he added.

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