The British Airways (BA) airline said it would soon acquire 72 new aircraft, to boost its flight operations in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Mr Kola Olayinka, BA Country Commercial Manager for West Africa, told newsmen at a briefing that the new aircraft would be acquired before the end of 2014.
He said that the acquisition of the aircraft would enable the airline expand its existing route network in Africa. Olayinka added that with the aircraft, the airline would be able to open up new routes on the continent.
He said that BA operates 85 flights a week to 14 African destinations, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. Olayinka explained that the airline had placed orders for 12 Airbus 380s, 24 Boeing 787s, six Boeing 777-300 ERs and 10 Airbus 320s aircraft.
The Country Commercial Manager for West Africa added that some of the aircraft had been delivered. According to him, no fewer than 20 modern aircraft will also join the growing fleet of the airline by the end of 2014.
“These modern aircraft will gradually replace some of the older, less fuel-efficient aircraft in the BA fleet and allow the management to add new destinations and improve schedules.
In West Africa, we increased our services to Ghana to 10 a week, and in October 2014, flights to Ghana are scheduled to increase to 11 per week. We’ve increased capacity to Kenya by introducing Boeing 747-400s on the route. Using larger aircraft provides over 780 additional seats every week,” he said.
Olayinka added that the new acquisition was good news for business travellers in the continent.