- The first non-stop flight route between Ghana and the United States is scheduled to be inaugurated in July this year, the New York-based airliner North American Airlines (NAA) announced today. The weekly flights between Accra and New York could develop into a major US gateway into West Africa, the company hopes.
NAA today announced its plans to introduce a non-stop scheduled service between the Ghanaian capital Accra and New York's John F Kennedy airport. The route was to "improve access to the West African nation of Ghana beginning 1 July 2005," with the introduction of weekly flights.
Currently, air service between Ghana and the United States is available only via Europe, making travels a time-consuming affair. "This non-stop service will drastically reduce the travel time between the United States and Ghana," commented therefore Rob Binns, the marketing responsible for World Air Holdings, which owns NAA.
According to Mr Binns, this would also be "the only non-stop scheduled service [from the US] to any country in West Africa, providing an important link between the United States and other West African nations."
The weekly flights were to depart New York each Friday evening, returning from Accra each Sunday at noon. "We will start our non-stop service with one flight per week," said Mr Binns, "but we are ready to provide additional flights in response to the demand we see in the market," he added.
There are currently very few non-stop flight connections between the US and Africa. The main trans-continental routes are currently operated by South African Airways, which has flights from New York to Sal (Cape Verde), Dakar (Senegal) and Johannesburg (South Africa). Further, Ethiopian Airlines flies directly between New York and Addis Ababa and several small companies offer non-stop flights between Houston (Texas, US) and African oil producing capitals.
Several more plans for direct flights between Africa and the US however exist. The US airliner Continental Airlines is planning to connect New York with Lagos (Nigeria), as does Nigeria's new flag carrier, Virgin Nigeria.
The bulk of travellers moving between North America and Africa however still pass through some European airport. Traffic from and to Europe remains the most important for Africa, followed by the traffic between Africa and Asia - in particular the Middle East.
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