It's been about a month since my last holiday to cape town on the TAAG 777-300ER, on which I also made a flight report. For the Christmas holidays, I have decided to visit Mozambique, South Africa, and Namibia in that order while being in Luanda for Christmas. The fare to Mozambique was reasonably priced and I've never visited so I decided to give it a try. I will stay for one night in Maputo before taking a domestic flight to Inhambane in northern Mozambique for some well-deserved rest.
Given that I was out until about 2 in the morning the previous day I thought it would be impossible to wake up on time, but I woke up at 7:30, and was on my way to the airport at 8:00, giving me plenty of time to make the 9:50 departure.
The national assembly, early in the morning
I arrived at Quatro de Fevereiro at about 8:20, an oh boy it was bad. people were pushing each other and the whole check-in was so disorganized (this always happens here). thankfully the agent that handled me was very competent so I was through in very little time. taking photos during security is a no-no here so I didn't even try.
A very crowded and disorganized check in
After I got through security I checked what aircraft I will be taking on my way to Maputo. Most of my friends who flew the flight mentioned on flying the 737-700, (if you read my report on my flight from Luanda to Sao Tome you'd know that the three and a half hours would not be very pleasant) However as I checked on FlightAware, I noticed that the route will be serviced by the 777-200, one of the older triple sevens that TAAG owns. I was certain that it would be an upgrade to the very shabby and uncomfortable 737.
As I was waiting I checked out some planes on the tarmac. keep in mind that the terminal is really far away from the tarmac so the pictures aren't that great.
A TAP A340-300
A TAAG 777-300ER lining up on runway 25, heading to Johannesburg
At about 9:20 boarding was called. I knew that this meant it would still be a while so I turned up to the gate 15 minutes later, with boarding about halfway through. I hopped on the next bus and was on my way to the board that would take me to Maputo.
A TAAG 777-200 and 777-3000ER on the tarmac while on the bus to my bird.
After a roughly 5 minute ride, we pulled up to our aircraft that would be taking us to Maputo. I'm not sure why but I prefer the -200 series to the -300 series visually.
A beatiful GE90
The wing of our 777
I got onto the aircraft by steps (yes boarding a 777 by steps is a strange experience) where I was greeted by a friendly flight attendant.
Departure: Luanda (FNLU)
Arrival: Maputo (FQMA)
Aircraft: A Boeing 777-200, registered D2-TEF, aged 10 years at the time of the flight
As I entered the aircraft I could already tell that it would be a bit antique. the paint on the outside was starting to fade and chip in some places. I walked through a business class cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration. it didn't look appealing.
The business class cabin
I then got to my seat 16D located in the small economy cabin consisting of about 40 seats (dang it I forgot to be asked to change to a window seat), an aisle seat in the middle.
The cabin behind me
The View from my seat
After a few minutes of sitting down, I realized that these seats were really uncomfortable. it wasn't as bad as on the 737, but it was still pretty bad. The seats were very hard and the legroom, which was excellent on both the 737 and the 77W was quite bad on the 772. the cabin was in a bit of a pitiful condition as well. As I sat down the cover to my armrest popped off.
Is this meant to happen?
The state of the other armrest was also quite questionable.
Anywho, we were slightly delayed because some people who're luggage was on the plane did not turn up (it's sad how often this happens). We then took off at about 10:15, with a 25-minute delay, however, the captain (who was female which I find quite rare on African airlines) anticipated that we'd make up the time without any issues.
We rocketed off very powerfully, I felt like we took off with full throttle and then had a VERY steep climb angle.
After about 10 minutes the seatbelt sign was turned off, so I decided to do some work. I got some done in about 45 minutes before lunch was served.
An image of the beverage cart
On my past TAAG flight, i have found the food to be quite good. Today was no exception. the chili with rice, tuna salad, focaccia and Christmas bread were all very good. Quite a meal for a three-hour flight in economy. the beverage selection was large too, with many alcoholic drinks as well as soft ones. The meal was not cleared for about 40 minutes, which seems a bit too long.
After that, i decided to browse the in-flight entertainment which was both ancient (it reminded me of what BA have on their 747's) and broken.
Since the entertainment on board wasn't an option I just watched some movies on my mac. I settled for the book thief which I enjoyed, I then decided to pay a visit to the bathroom, which was clean but nothing special.
I also peeked out of a window, at this point we were flying over Botswana, near the South African border with about an hour left till landing in Maputo.
Botswana from 37000 feet
The cabin in Flight
Another thing that seemed off was the arrangement of the seats, it was just erratic. there were rows in a 3-4-3 configuration, in a 3-3-3 configuration, and in a 2-4-2 configuration placed randomly throughout the aircraft just very strange.
About 20 minutes out we started our descent into Maputo and the cabin crew started to prepare the cabin for landing. Strangely i was told to take my headphones off for the descent (probably some new revolutionary saftey measure). the approach was quite beautiful with lakes and rivers being visible from out of the windows.
As we were just seconds from landing I noticed that the flaps were still in the 15 position, the flight crew started to deploy them to the desired 25 or 30 position but it was too late. We landed very hard, jumped up before coming down again after a few seconds in the air. Definitely one of the most violent landings I ever witnessed two as even some latched overhead bins opened.
As we parked our neighbor was a beautiful THY A330-300, which would be flying to Istanbul in the evening.
The last look of our 777-200
Maputo airport was actually very modern and well kept.
That's it for me for now, see you soon with my domestic flight on the Q400 from Maputo to Inhambane on LAM.
TAAG Angola Airlines
Luanda - LAD
Maputo - MPM
Overall this was not the best flight I took with TAAG. the plane was old and dirty, the entertainment was unusable and I was uncomfortable for most of the flight. TAAG, this 777 is just 10 years old and has at least 12 years of service ahead of it but you cannot expect the interior to last this long without being refurbished or even maintained.
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