British Airways says its new route to the Gatwick Airport is not a strategy to eventually move flights from Ghana away from the Heathrow Airport, but it is to offer passengers more choices.
“I have given my promise that we are not calling off the Heathrow airport,” Neil Chernoff, Director of Networks and Alliances, British Airways said.
Speaking in an interview last Wednesday in London with some selected journalists who experienced the airline’s inaugural flight to Gatwick Airport MrChernoff said as a demonstration to strengthen the airline’s operations at Heathrow Airport, there were plans to increase the Heathrow-Accra flights to 10 times a week, which might include night flights, subject to some conditions.
British Airways in 2021 announced plans to move its Heathrow-Accra-Heathrow flights to Gatwick as part of restructuring of its operations.
He explained that the decision then was a result of capacity constraints adding that “I think if we go back a couple of years ago, we are very constrained on capacity so it is very difficult to fly our schedule.”
British Airways launched a new route from London Gatwick to Accra, to give travellers more choice of flight times and airports.
On October 29, 2023, the first flight from London Gatwick to Accra touched down at Kotoka International Airport (ACC).
With the launch, the airline will now be operating three times a week from Accra to London Gatwick, giving travelers more choices of flight times and airports.
The flights will depart from Accra at 21.20 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, landing in Gatwick at 04.00.
With the introduction of flights from London Gatwick, British Airways offers Ghanaian travellers an alternative gateway to London.
Premium customers, as well as Gold and Silver Executive Club members, can enjoy the recently refurbished lounges at London’s Gatwick Airport, providing a seamless and comfortable travel experience.
The expansion also provides increased cargo capacity on the route to Ghana, benefiting Ghanaian exporters who can now transport perishable and other goods more efficiently.
The expansion of flights to Accra is part of British Airways’ broader strategy to restore and strengthen its Africa route network.
On the turnout so far MrChernoff said “The flights were full in both directions and I think that is really good, we had inaugural flights sometimes where we found that there were challenges with flights not full and all but with recent one is a testament to what we thought which is, there is demand that supersedes supply, that putting more supply into the market would be great. It has been encouraging so far.”
Commenting on the outlook for the airline next year he said, “For us, it’s first seeing how our three additional flights perform and the decision to add a fourth flight next April was because there was more demand, we have seen bookings coming in and led us to the fourth frequency. We would have to evaluate the numbers with the additional flights and continue to give customers different options as both flights fly and arrive at the same time.”
He said the airline might increase its flight on the Gatwick route subject to availability of aircraft and slots.