Virgin Atlantic Airways pulls out of Ghana (Accra)
Virgin Atlantic will from the end of September of this year, suspend all its operations between London Heathrow and Accra.
The airline has attributed its move to exceptionally high fuel costs in Ghana, challenging wider economic environment and its inability to operate morning arrivals from Accra due to scarcity of slots at Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic’s Accra route was launched on 24 May Protected content .
It is unclear how long the suspension will last however; the last flight from Accra to London will depart on 23rd September
The Director of Airline Planning for Virgin Atlantic, Edmond Rose, said: “We have had to take the difficult decision to suspend our services between London and Accra. We were excited to enter the market and have been pleased to be part of the growth and development taking place in the country.”
He however indicated that the airline has “been severely impacted by the price of fuel in Ghana this has resulted in us being forced to tanker fuel into Accra from the UK.”
According to him, the “scarcity of slots at the UK’s international hub airport, London Heathrow, has meant that we have been unable to offer morning arrivals into London, which makes us a less attractive option for the business traveler. This has also limited our ability to offer connections onto our wider transatlantic network. These are still challenging times for the airline industry and we have to deploy our aircraft to routes with the right level of demand to be financially viable.”
Mr. Rose thanked the customers of the airline, “staff and business partners for their support during the past three years of operation between London Heathrow and Accra.”
He gave the assurance that “Virgin Atlantic will operate its full published schedule until the 22nd/23rd September and passengers can continue to book for travel prior to those days throughout the coming months.”