South African Airways launches route between Ghana and Washington
SEP 3, 2015: South African Airways (SAA) announced the launch of 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 following a celebratory send-off, to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. On board were the Ghanaian minister of transportation, Dzifa Aku Attivo, as well as a contingent of high profile Ghanaian government officials; other guests, executives and media.
The flight was captained by senior captain Themba McLean, SAA’s first black chief standards pilot, assisted by senior first officer Mvikeli Nongxa and senior first officer Yvette Findlay-Walsh. On arrival the inaugural flight was welcomed by a celebratory water spray as it taxied into the Washington D.C. Dulles International Airport.
Besides announcing the new Accra – Washington route, SAA announced it has concluded a Commercial Cooperation Agreement with Africa World Airlines (AWA), the Ghanaian domestic carrier which will offer customers further connections into West Africa. Adding flights between Accra and Washington to its route network is a significant achievement for the airline and a bold move which strengthens SAA’s position in West Africa. With Accra – Washington added to its extensive African route network serving 24 countries on the continent, SAA now offers customers the option of a second West African country linking air travel to North America.
“Introducing more travel options on the African continent is a major development and achievement for the airline as part of our Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, which sets growth on the African continent as one of our key objectives. Besides celebrating the inaugural flight between Accra and Washington, SAA has also concluded a Commercial Cooperation Agreement with Africa World Airlines (AWA) which is off a long-term strategic nature, offering customers more travel options within the West African region. 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 U.S.A. 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,” said Kendy Phohleli, SAA executive Africa Hub Projects.