SAA, the leading carrier on the African continent, has – in what is a significant achievement for the airline – strengthened its position in West Africa with the upcoming introduction of a second West African country linking air travel to North America.
“Following months of SAA efforts and preparations and the successful negotiations between the governments of Ghana and South Africa, we’re pleased that we can now fly our customers between Ghana and the USA from August 2015 onwards.
“This is a major development and achievement for the airline as part of our Long-Term Turnaround Strategy where we have set growth on the African continent as one of our key objectives. With a strong presence in West Africa, in the form of non-stop services between Accra and Washington DC, and through our airline partnerships, our customers will soon have access to further destinations in West Africa,” says Nico Bezuidenhout, SAA’s Acting CEO.
“The granting of traffic rights by the Ghana government enables SAA to transport customers between Accra and Washington. As current supply is limited, forcing the majority of customers in Ghana to travel via Europe to reach North America, the SAA’s introduction of non-stop services from Ghana will considerably reduce travel times,” says Kendy Phohleli, SAA Executive Africa Hub Projects.
Customers will also be able to experience a 4-Star Skytrax rated airline service to North America serving the West African community – a service which offers world-class quality, product and service standards and has enabled SAA to be awarded the 4-Star rating for 13 consecutive years.
Not only has SAA added Ghana as a second entry point in West Africa, the airline, has – true to its promise of improving inter-connectivity on the continent – entered into a bi-lateral codeshare agreement with Africa World Airlines. This airline partnership will offer SAA customers from Washington and Johannesburg seamless connectivity via Accra to other destinations in Ghana, such as Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale, as well as to Lagos, Nigeria.
Africa World Airlines is the fastest growing airline in Ghana which operates domestic and regional flights in West Africa and is based at Kotoka International Airport in Accra. The airline was recently awarded Domestic Airline of the Year in Ghana.
From Washington, SAA offers convenient connections to and from over 50 markets in the USA and Canada through its airline partners: United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Virgin America.
SAA currently operates daily flights between Johannesburg and Accra. Effective 2 August 2015, the schedule will be reconfigured as follows:
- Four of the weekly Accra flights will continue onwards to Washington;
- Three of the weekly Accra flights will continue onwards to Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and
- Three of the current weekly flights to Washington will continue operating from Johannesburg, via Dakar, Senegal.
The Accra-Washington route will be served by A340-600s on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, featuring 42 full-flat 180° beds in Premium Business Class and 275 seats in Economy Class.