This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 8/22/2019


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.  Given the economic situation, 2018 saw a decrease in exports of transportation equipment to Angola. Nevertheless, the Angolan government has made the transportation sector one of its top priorities.  Consequently, the transportation sector remains one of the most funded areas by the Government of Angola.

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

HTS CODEDescription(US$) 2016 (US$) 2017 (US$) 2018
88Civilian aircraft, engines, and parts406.6 million61.6 million21 million
86Railway or Tramway Locomotives, Rolling Stock, Track Fixtures and Fittings, and Parts Thereof; Mechanical Etc. Traffic Signal Equipment of all Kinds55.3 million216 million1 million
87Vehicles, Other Than Railway or Tramway Rolling Stock, and Parts and Accessories Thereof10.3 million13 million8.3 million
89Ships, Boats and Floating Structures0.7 million0.4 million0.9 million
A new international airport has been under construction 40 km southeast of Luanda for the past 14 years.  Construction is approximately 60 per cent complete. The airport was expected to begin operating 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.  The Government however, still plans to commission the New Luanda Airport in 2022.  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. But 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 then replaced by Aviation Industry Corporation of China.  

Envisioned as a major transportation hub for the region, the airport is designed to accommodate 13 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 current international airport 4 de Fevereiro, serving both international and domestic fights, 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 a renovation and expansion of the existing airport.  Approximately, USD 300 million is expected to be allocated from the 2020 Angolan state budget for this expansion project.   In contrast, only USD 60 million were allocated from the 2019 budget for the continued construction of the new airport.

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 rehabilitated recently, though only 12 of these receive regular commercial flights from the national air carrier Transportes Aéreos de Angola (TAAG).

The Ministry of Transportation’s National Institute of Civil Aviation (INAVIC) establishes the regulations and standards and also provides enforcement authority for aviation operations and security.  INAVIC follows the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) security standards and is working towards positioning Angola as a regional aviation hub. The National Company of Airport Development and Air Navigation (ENANA) manages the country’s civilian airports but will be restructured into two companies: the National Society of Airport Management, which will be responsible for the management and operation of the national airports, and the National Air Navigation Company, responsible for air traffic control and safety of air navigation.

TAAG operates under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation, and services 12 domestic, 11 regional, and 6 inter-continental destinations.   TAAG has codeshare agreements with Mozambique Air Lines, Lufthansa, Emirates, Royal Air Maroc, Air Namibia, Brussels Airlines, Air France, and South African Airways.  TAAG’s fleet includes 13 Boeing aircraft (five 737-700, three 777-200, and five 777-300).  Two of the 777-300s were delivered in 2016, which closed out its order with Boeing.  In June 2019, TAGG announced that it acquired six Dash 8 – 400s from the company Bombardier (Bombardier recently sold its Dash 8 program to De Havilland Canada Ltd).  TAAG signed a 10-year management contract with the Emirates Group in September 2014 with plans to increase fleet, passenger volume and revenues.   However, in 2017, Emirates terminated the 10-year management contract with TAAG after little more than two years due to difficulties repatriating Emirates’ own flight revenue from the country.  In November 2018, the Angolan government announced the partial privatization of TAAG with an initial sale of 10 percent of the company. 

SonAir, owned by the government oil company Sonangol, terminated its direct flights from Luanda to Houston on March 31, 2018.  The airline still operates regular commercial flights from Luanda to the Angolan cities of Cabinda, Catumbela, Lubango, Malange and Soyo, as well as aircraft to support the oil industry.   Its fleet includes Dakota DCIII, Beechcraft’s (200, 350 and 1900 D), Twin-Otter, Fokkers (50 and 27) and Boeings (727 and 737-700).  SonAir’s helicopter service, which consists of Super Puma EC 225 and Sikorsky S-76C helicopters, was halted in April 2016 due to international air safety concerns related to the Super Pumas, and limited local maintenance service capacity.  Small private air transport companies also operate in Angola, to include Mavewa, Helimalongo (four Dash 8), Heliang (one Beech 1900D), Gira Globo (two AntonovAn-32, one IlyushinIl-76MD and four Ilyushin Il-76TD), Fly540, Diexim (three Embraer 120 Brasilia and two Embraer 135/145) , Angola Air Services (one Embraer 135/145), Air26 (six Embraer 120 Brasilia), Air Nave, Air Jet (two Embraer 120 Brasilia, four Beechcraft 200, and two Jetstream), Air Guicango and Aerojet.
Aircraft and Aviation Equipment 201620172018 2019 (Estimated) 1st quarter
Total Local ProductionN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total ExportsN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total Imports453.7176.335.510
Imports from the US406,661.6213.5
Total Market Size453.7 176.3 35.5 10
Exchange Rates166166 245340
Units: USD 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, there could be opportunities to remodel or refurbish aircraft. TAAG 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 airport 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 2019 Angolan national budget allocated USD 253.9 million for the air transportation sector, which should support new constructions and upgrades.  Renovation and expansion of the 4 de Fevereiro Airport is expected to last 18 months and double the passenger capacity from 1.5 million to 3 million.  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 and Zambia to provide 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 lineThe 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 2015, GE Transportation signed a contract to provide 100 GE C30ACi locomotives to Angola with deliveries that began with 15 locomotives in December 2016, and 64 locomotives in 2017.  The remaining 21 locomotives are scheduled for delivery through 2019.  The GE locomotives are concentrated in the Benguela and Moçamedes lines for cargo use and support mining development in Angola.   The Luanda rail will be undergoing some alterations to be able to support the weight of these locomotives and commercial cargo including fuel 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.
Locomotives, Rail Technologies and Equipment201620172018 2019 (Estimated) 1st quarter
Total Local ProductionN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total ExportsN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total Imports72 234.5 93
Imports from the US
55.3 216 0.90.1
Total Market Size72 234.5 93
Exchange Rates166166245340
Units: USD 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 2019 Angolan national budget allocated USD 112.3 million for the rail sector, which is expected 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 signalization.

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% investment by Rail Standard Service and 25% by Fortland Consulting Company).

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 the 13 million population projected by that time.  The plan was approved by the then newly-elected Government on February 28, 2018.  One of the main pillars of the 2030 plan Luanda masterplan is the transportation sector, with the planned installation of an above ground urban rail that would include a connection to the new international airport that is under construction.

Web Resources

Ministry of Transportation     
National Institute of Railroad (INFCA)
National Company of Airports Exploration and Air Navigation (ENANA)
National Institute of Civil Aviation
TAAG Airlines
Sonair Airlines
United States International Trade Commission -
Global Trade Atlas -

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