Cape Town - South African Airways (SAA) has officially launch its inaugural flight between Accra, Ghana and Washington DC in North America.
The new route substantially strengthens SAA’s presence in West Africa, and the first flight departed from the Kotoka International Airport in Accra at 22:45 on Sunday, 2 August.
SAA announced in a press release that the route launch was celebrated at an official event at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana on Friday, with the Ghanaian Minister of Transport, Honourable Dzifa Aku Attivor, the American Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana as well as the Ghana South African Chamber in Ghana in attendance.
Commercial Cooperation Agreement with Africa World Airlines
An SAA Commercial Cooperation Agreement with Africa World Airlines (AWA), the Ghanaian domestic carrier, was also launched at the event and will offer customers further connections into West Africa.
READ: SAA adds more flights to key African destinations
SAA now serves 24 countries on the continent, with the Ghana to Washington route the second West African country linking air travel to North America. SAA also offers convenient connections to and from over 50 markets in the US and Canada through its airline partners United Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Virgin America. SAA has been flying to Washington for ten years.
Accra to Washington schedule
Effective 2 August 2015, SAA will operate daily flights between Johannesburg and Accra, with four of the flights continuing onwards to Washington; and three onwards to Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Three of the current weekly flights between Johannesburg and Washington will continue operating from Johannesburg, via Dakar, Senegal.
Introducing more travel options on the African continent is a major development and achievement for the airline as part of its Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, which sets growth on the African continent as one of its key objectives.
Long-Term Turnaround Strategy growth on the African continent
“SAA’s decision to route some of its North American bound flights to Ghana, is based on sound business principles as there is considerable demand for passengers wanting to fly between Ghana to the US. We anticipate that this route will add considerable opportunities for the growth of tourism and trade relations between Ghana and the United States of America,” says Mr Kendy Phohleli, SAA Executive Africa Hub Projects.
“South African Airways is recognised as a strong regional player by one of the biggest alliance leaders in the global aviation industry, Star Alliance, and we are glad to become their partner in Ghana and offer our passengers access to destinations worldwide through the network of South African Airways,” said Mr Michael Cheng Luo, AWA Chief Executive Officer.
Furthermore, the airline’s Frequent Flyer Programme, SAA Voyager in partnership with Ecobank in Ghana, announced the launch of the first ever co-branded Gold and Platinum SAA Voyager Credit Cards within Ghana with the intent to further expand their partnership within the African Continent.