British Airways is increasing the number of flights between Accra and London, with the addition of three return services a week.
Announcing the development during a media briefing in Accra, British Airways’ Head of Sales for Africa, Middle East and South Asia, Moran Birger, said Ghanaian travellers will from October 29 have more choice of flight times and airports, with additional flights to London Gatwick
The airline already flies daily between Accra and London Heathrow Terminal 5. The new flights will depart Accra at 9:20pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, landing in London Gatwick at 04.00am. The Accra-bound service will depart at mid-day, landing in the capital at 6:35pm.
According to Mr. Birger, restoring the company’s Africa network after the pandemic “gave us an opportunity to carefully consider the routes and regions where there was potential for growth”.
He added: “We have really put a lot of effort into making sure that we get it right over here, because Ghana and West Africa is an incredibly important market for us. So, we need to make sure that we are serving the market well. Accra was one of those routes and Africa one of the regions,” he stated.
Gatwick, he said, will provide travellers from Ghana with an alternative gateway from London; and premium customers as well as Gold and Silver Executive Club members can ease their way into holidays or family visits in the recently refurbished lounges.
The new services
The new services also add cargo capacity on the route, increasing opportunities for Ghanaian exporters to quickly get perishables and other goods to market through IAG Cargo – the cargo division of International Airlines Group, British Airways’ parent company.
“This is great news for our customers and also adds a lot of extra cargo capacity, allowing Ghanaian exporters to quickly get perishable and all other goods to the [United Kingdom] market,” Mr. Birger said.
To mark the new services start, British Airways – which has served Ghana for over 85 years – is offering a launch special with fares from Gatwick to Accra starting from US$2,947 in Club World and US$689 in World Traveller.
Customers on those flights will also soon start to see the new British Airways’ uniform as cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents switch over from their current Julien MacDonald uniforms. Designed by British-Ghanaian Saville Row fashion designer and tailor, Ozwald Boateng OBE, it is the first new uniform to be unveiled in 20 years.
Easing COVID-19 restrictions good for growth
Touching on government’s decision to lift all restrictions imposed at the country’s entry points, Mr. Birger said the move will quicken the industry’s recovery.
“I think it’s really, really a positive step to see that all those restrictions are being lifted. We are quite excited about that,” he stated.
Government has lifted the restrictions aimed at curbing the importation and spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This means pre-departure testing and tests at all entry points of the country “are no longer a requirement for passengers”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on May 5, 2023 that COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), due to decreasing numbers of deaths and hospitalisations – with high levels of population immunity against SARS-CoV-2.