Angola Goes Visa-Free, Opens New International Airport

Angola’s transport minister, Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu, announced that the country’s new international air hub, located in Bom Jesus, 25 miles (40km) southeast of the capital Luanda, and built by a major Chinese contractor, is now offically open.

New Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto International Airport (AIAAN) is reportedly the largest ever cinstructed outside of China by the China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corporation, and was fully funded by the government of Angola.

Acccording to Minister D’Abreu, Angola’s government intends to use the new airport to establish an international civil aviation hub in Luanda to connect Africa to other continents.

“It truly contributes to the development of our region’s economies in a logic of ever greater integration and creation of added value for all,” the minister said.

AIAAN, named after Angola’s first president, Antonio Agostinho Neto, is estimated to have cost more than $3 billion and has a total area of 1,324 hectares. New air hub has an annual capacity of 15 million passengers and 130,000 tons of cargo. The airport complex includes hotels, office buildings, hangars, and shops.

The construction of AIAAN began in 2008. It received its first certification in September after passing landing and take-off tests conducted by Angolan Airlines TAAG in June 2022.

Domestic flights are scheduled to begin in February of next year, while international operations will start in June, according to the airport’s operating plan.

“We have just inaugurated and put into service this important infrastructure for the nation and the continent, which will not only serve Angola but also serve as a crucial hub for airport transportation in Africa and the world,” Angolan President Joao Lourenco said at the AIAAN opening ceremony.

Recently, Angola passed legislation granting 90-day visa-free stays to nationals of 98 countries, including the United States, Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, and China, for tourism purposes.

SOURCE: Angola Goes Visa-Free, Opens New International Airport