PRAIA, CABO VERDE — Cabo Verde Airlines (VR), the national airline owned by the Cape Verdean government, announced on Friday, April 7, that it will add a leased Boeing 737 MAX 8 to its fleet as a second aircraft. 

The airline has initiated a public voting campaign, giving customers the opportunity to select the official name for the new Boeing 737-8 MAX.

Employees suggested several names for public voting on the company's social media platforms, including "Cidade Velha," a UNESCO World Heritage site, "Morabeza," referring to the Cape Verdean hospitality, and "Esperança," which means hope. The leased aircraft, arriving directly from Boeing in July, is currently being painted in the colors of the Cape Verdean airline, according to a company source.

Founded in 1958, Cabo Verde Airlines was designated as the national carrier after Cape Verde gained independence in July 1975, becoming a state-owned enterprise in 1983. After the pandemic, the airline restarted operations with flights between Praia and Lisbon in December 2021. In 2022, with only one aircraft, flights expanded from the islands of São Vicente and Sal to the Portuguese capital.

Last November, the Cape Verdean Minister of Transport and Tourism reported that since resuming operations, the nationalized VR transported 28,000 passengers and was negotiating the lease of a second aircraft for Boston connections. Minister Carlos Santos stated in parliament that operations to Boston and Brazil are part of VR's near-future plans, with the government providing support and injecting funds to foster connections with the diaspora amid turbulent times.

Santos also mentioned that VR was discussing with leasing companies to acquire a second aircraft, supplementing the Boeing 737-700 leased from the Angolan counterpart VR since March 2022. This addition will enable the airline to reestablish connections with Boston, home to the largest Cape Verdean diaspora community, as well as Brazil and France.