South African Airways Further Strengthens West African Network, Introduces Abuja As Second Nigeria Destination
According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia, Nigeria has one of the fastest-growing and largest economies in Africa with the new destination adding considerably to business travel options to the country: “We have seen significant growth in traffic to Nigeria recently, both as a destination in itself and as part of our growing West Africa network, so the addition of Abuja is good news,” Tim said.
“Adding a second gateway in Nigeria to our existing daily service to Lagos really strengthens SAA’s position in West Africa where we play a significant role in enabling commerce between Southern and West Africa and enhancing the growing trade and cultural exchanges between the two regions.” he said.
“This follows the successful introduction of the Accra in Ghana to our Washington DC route as a West African platform in August this year. We launched flights between Accra and Washington in cooperation with Africa World Airways. The introduction of the Accra to Washington route has seen a steady growth in passengers using the route and has performed in line with expectations. This has also enabled us to invest further and enhance our West Africa footprint.”
“Enhancing air travel links with Nigeria also underlines the growth in bilateral relations between South Africa and Nigeria. The two countries historically have had strong economic, diplomatic, social and fraternal ties with both being economic powerhouses of Africa.”
According to Tim, the Abuja flights have been scheduled for seamless connectivity into SAA’s route network to and from international cities which means passengers can reach Nigeria with one stop in Johannesburg.
With Abuja, SAA will now serve eight destinations in Central and West Africa, with flights from Johannesburg to Lagos (Nigeria); Abidjan (Ivory Coast); Cotonou (Benin); Accra (Ghana); Douala (Cameroon), Dakar (Senegal) and Libreville (Gabon) already forming part of the extensive regional route network.
The three weekly flights will operate non-stop between Johannesburg and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja aboard modern Airbus 330-200s, offering SAA business class comfort and luxury, with the latest in In-flight entertainment. The first flight is scheduled to depart O.R Tambo International Airport on 26 January 2016. Flights are open for sale on all SAA’s distribution channels.
Abuja flight schedule:
|Flight||Days of the week||Depart Johannesburg||Arrive Abuja|
|SA80||Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays||23h00||04h10 the following day|
|Depart Abuja||Arrive Johannesburg|
|SA81||Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays||08h45||15h40|
“This new additional flight to Nigeria is great news and further evidence of SAA’s determination to be the best carrier in Africa catering to business, recreational and VFR needs,” Tim conclude