LONDON – Qatar Airways (QR) announced today it will launch new flights to Accra, Ghana (ACC). This is yet another destination for QR, having had a busy couple of weeks announcing the return to Lagos earlier this month and Somalia announced at the end of last month.
Commencing on September 29, the services will operate on a four times per week basis, using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
His Excellency’s Comments
Commenting on the news was Qatar Airways Group CEO H.E Mr. Akbar Al Baker who emphasised delight over the route announcement.
“We are delighted to be launching flights to the capital of Ghana, one of the fastest-growing economies in the region famed for its local hospitality and highly sought after agricultural exports. We first announced our intention to launch flights to Accra in January 2020 and while the pandemic has slightly delayed these plans, it has not stopped us from fulfilling our commitment to passengers in Ghana and around the world.”
“With the strong Ghanaian diaspora especially in Europe, the UK, and the U.S. we are thankful to the Ghanaian Government for their support in helping us to launch these flights providing an opportunity to reunite family and friends with their loved ones. We look forward to working closely with our partners in Ghana to steadily grow this route and support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region.”
The four times per week service will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. QR1415 will depart Doha (DOH) at 0030L, which will arrive at ACC at 0900L. The return, QR1418 will depart ACC at 1500L before arriving back into the Qatari capital at 0515L the next day.
There will be 22 seats on offer in Business Class as well as 232 seats in Economy respectively on the Dreamliner.
Africa The Booming Market?
A few of QR’s destinations have been similar over the last few weeks, highlighting a focus on the African market. The airline had previously suspended all bookings to Australia due to new restrictions put in place by the Australian government.
This has meant that the excess capacity would have no doubt been transferred over to Africa, as seen by the launches of Lagos and Mogadishu. As such, QR must be competing significantly with the likes of Emirates (EK), which has also been growing into the continent with services to Lagos (LOS) and Abuja (ABV) as well as repatriation services to Casablanca (CMN).
With restrictions no doubt a lot tighter in the Far East and Australia than those in Africa, it has opened up opportunities for additional passenger revenue elsewhere.
It will be interesting to see whether QR and even EK will continue such an expansion into Africa with less focus elsewhere. If that is where the airlines are acquiring the revenue, then so be it, especially in a COVID-19-dominated world.
Featured Image: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Wikimedia Commons