After my last flight onboard TAAG's 737-700, I was really curious to see how the long-range 777 aircraft compare. TAAG uses both the 777-200 and -300ER series on both long-haul flights (to Rio de Janeiro, Havana, and Lisbon etc.) as well as some medium haul flight around Africa (primarily Cape Town and Johannesburg). Hope you enjoy this report!
I arrived at Luanda Quatro de Fevereiro at 6:30 with an hour and fifty minutes left to the flight. The airport was actually quite busy with a flight leaving to Maputo, Johannesburg, Windhoek as well as my very own Cape Town flight.
A pretty busy Luanda airport
Check in was somewhat confusing, the line wasn't moving at all even though all the 7 TAAG stalls were open. I'm not sure why but I got waved to a lady in a TAAG uniform who was taking care of one of the stalls. She was very polite and very effective. I was out of the check in hall in less than two minutes. These are the kind of airline workers you want to come across.
Taking photos throughout security and passport control is strictly forbidden. Basically, if you do it you will get yelled at and asked to put your phone away. I'm not sure what they're trying to protect the passengers from but sure I guess whatever floats their boat. I finally got through this part of the airport and I could finally use the huge glass windows that Luanda offers to check out some of the aircraft in the tarmac.
TAAG 777-300ER arriving from Lisbon
TAP A340-300 After arriving from lisbon
Some more TAAG aircraft in Luanda
TAP is planning to retire their a340's throughout 2017 to 2019. I'm not surprised as all 4 aircraft of this type in TAP's fleet were delivered in the mid 90's. I won't lie I'll be sad to see them go even though that they'll be replaced by a330NEO aircraft which are to fly to Luanda too. Can't wait!
Boarding was called at 8:10, I was sure that we would leave on time since the boarding started so late. We gathered around gate 4 and were bussed to the aircraft.
After stepping outside of the bus the sheer size of the 777 amazed me, this was probably aggravated by the fact that we boarded by stairs. There was a Lufthansa a330-300 parked a few stands away and it seemed small in comparison to my 777.
The huge GE90 engines of my 777
Information about the flight
Departure Luanda (FNLU)
Destination Cape Twon (FACT)
Aircraft D2-TEG (A Boeing 777-300ER delivered to TAAG in 2011, named Sagrada Esperança (Sacred Hope) aged 6.5 years at the time of the flight.)
Flight time (actual) 3 Hours 35 Minutes
I was on the last bus to get to the aircraft so I walked into an already pretty full cabin. The first thing I noticed was that the seat finishes (the golden yellow and navy blue) were very similar to the ones on board the 737. Newer 777's in the TAAG fleet get leather seats with black finishes.
A pretty full cabin
I settled into my seat 22A, a window seat I noticed that the wing was pretty dusty and black. Our neighbour was D2-TEI, one of the newest 777's in the fleet, delivered in June 2016.
The thing that surprised me most was the amount of legroom on board. It was huge. I could not touch the seat in front of me with my feet and my knees were a good 20 cm from the seat in front of me. I don't fly economy on a most long-haul aircraft but I could imagine surviving a pretty long flight in this seat. Just a fun fact TAAG is the only airline to have switched from a 3-4-3 configuration to a 3-3-3 configuration on the 777. The aisles did seem really wide.
A blanket and the legroom
We took off after a pretty short takeoff roll, the GE90 engines were very powerful but they weren't loud at all. It was a pretty comfortable take off.
View of Luanda on takeoff
Viewafter breaking through the clouds
Right after takeoff, the meal was served. It was a decent breakfast which consisted of scrambled eggs, a sausage, a grilled tomato, a roll, some jam and butter along with drinks which included tea and coffee All in a pretty good meal, as seems to be the norm on TAAG.
The onboard meal
After the meal was cleared (which took a long time, around an hour, actually) I decided to get some work done. I managed to do some work and decided to call it quits an hour and a half later. At this point, we were flying over Namibia, a place that I'm visiting this Christmas, also on board TAAG.
View while flying over Namibia
I decided to check out the in-flight entertainment. The selection wasn't amazing so I settled on spectre the newest James Bond movie. It was just as mediocre as I remebered it.
Classic entertainment controller
The cabin inflight
I finished the movie with about 45 minutes to go until landing in Cape Town. I decided to pay a visit to the bathroom, this was very uneventful, there were no amenities but the bathroom was pretty clean, at least.
As I returned to my seat the captain announced that we have just started our descent into Cape Town, strangely even though we were still about 35 minutes out the crew asked us to but our seats upright and to return the headphones issued to us (ha, I had my own the joke is on them) anyways I have a feeling this was way too early for comfort.
The cabin with mood lighting
Approaching Cape Town international
On short Final flaps 30
We landed 5 minutes behind schedule, after a quick taxi to the gate we disembarked the aircraft quickly and efficiently.
Our neighbour was TC-JOC, a Turkish airlines a330-300
My luggage was already waiting for me once I cleared the passport check. All in all, a very effective flight on board TAAG.
TAAG Angola Airlines
Luanda - LAD
Cape Town - CPT
This was a perfectly good flight on TAAG. The aircraft interior was pretty nice and seemed to be well maintained. the seats were well padded and the amount of legroom was excellent. The crew was efficient and the meal was good. All in all a perfectly nice experience.
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