South African Airways is planning to launch direct flights to Accra from New York JFK by the end of 2016. The aviation industry in South Africa is going to witness stiff competition when the airline finally starts operating its flights services between Accra’s Kotoka International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The launch of new service will see South African Airways becoming the first African airline to start offering direct flights to the United States of America. Earlier, Ghana Airways was operating flights to USA nearly two decades ago before being finally folded up.
Mrs Gloria Yirenkyi, Country Director of South African Airways, revealed the airline’s plans while addressing a special seminar for Accra’s select travel agents in Washington D.C. She said that though South Africa’s national carrier might be a new entrant on Accra-New York JFK route, but the airline is surely not a new player and knows the aviation industry quite well.
Mrs Yirenkyi said, “The market has been studied carefully by the airline. We are confident that the flights on the new route are going to prove to be commercially successful. Though it will take us some time to provide the new schedule and tell the number of flights to be flown on the route per week. But one thing we can assure is that the experience on the Washington Dulles route is going to be fully utilized so that the airline is able to gain more market share on New York JFK-Accra route.”
Delta Air Lines is presently the only U.S. airline operating direct flights from Accra on a daily basis. Now that South African Airways has also decided to introduce direct flights from Accra, this has come as a big relief to Ghanaians who will now get more options to travel to the United States on competitively priced flight tickets. This will also add an African touch to the new services thus refurbishing the image of Africa and making it a destination of choice. The launch of flights by South African Airways is also going to break the monopoly of Delta Air Lines and offer stiff competition coupled with low airfares in the coming months.