British Airways (BA), has announced that it would add three extra flights to its current seven times weekly schedule, bringing to 10 its total flights from Accra to London, starting October 2013.
This means that starting from October, BA would have two flights; morning and evening every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and one flight on the other days of the week. The three extra flights would be operated with a Boeing 767 aircraft.
Mr. Kola Olayinka, BA’s Commercial Manager, West Africa, who briefed journalists in Accra said the decision signified the airline’s ‘absolute confidence in the growth of Ghana as well as the future of aviation in Ghana.
He noted that aviation was an industry that could push the economy because it has multiplier effects on other industries, including hospitality, transport, catering among others and would provide jobs for the citizens of the country.
The move, according to Mr. Olayinka, was to take advantage of an opportunity that been presented. Obviously referring to Virgin Atlantic’s decision to suspend its services to Ghana later this month, which would leave BA the only direct flight to London, he stated.
“The present situation presents the opportunity to satisfy our customers and when an opportunity presents itself, a good private organization will fit into it”.
He said the increase would benefit customers as they would have more choice and flexibility in when they want to fly with BA.
He noted however, that the situation would not make it monopolize the route as there were other ways to get into London. Other airlines would also compete with BA, which would keep it on its toes. “We welcome competition in any way, shape or form” he declared.
Mr. Olayinka also revealed that beginning March 29th 2014, BA’s summer schedule will be upgraded to a B747 service, which is a bigger and quieter aircraft.
“Ghana is very strategic for BA and we have been very successful in Ghana. We expect a good future and this is a turning point in BA’s operations in Ghana because it is a massive investment and commitment to its Ghana operations, which has lasted over 75 years” he concluded.