Gulf carrier Qatar Airways will start operating four weekly flights from the Kotoka International Airport from Tuesday, September 29.
The entry of the Doha-based airline will offer passengers more travelling options and stir competition in a market where demand has been dampened by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and where airlines are gradually resuming operations with reduced frequencies.
The airline’s entry has been long in coming. It was initially expected to start operations in Ghana in 2018 but postponed its start to January this year. After opening its system for ticket sales in January, there was significant demand for tickets.
However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated widespread country border closures derailed its plans. With Ghana and Nigeria reopening their international airports for scheduled flights, the Gulf carrier is all set to commence operations.
Passengers travelling to the Middle East, Far East and South East Asian countries are expected to benefit from competitive fares – given the anticipated competition between Qatar, Emirates and Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines.
For starters, Qatar Airways will operate four weekly flights between Accra and Doha via Lagos, Nigeria. It has announced a promotional fare starting at US$895. Passengers must, however, book by October 5, 2020 for travel until March 31, 2021.
“We are proud to be the leading global airline connecting passengers with the world, operating one of the youngest and most efficient and sustainable fleets to take people safely where they need to be,” Qatar said in a statement.
Local partnership & employment
Meanwhile, Ghana-based regional and domestic carrier Africa World Airlines (AWA) has struck a deal with Qatar that will open up new destinations in the West Africa sub-region for Qatar Airways passengers.
The one-way interline agreement will allow Qatar customers to connect onto regional and domestic routes serviced by AWA such as Lagos, Abuja, Abidjan, Freetown, Monrovia, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.
Qatar, which has a local office at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in the heart of Accra, has employed Ghanaians as managers and cabin crew.