Qatar Airways, which started four times weekly operations between Doha and Accra via Lagos on September 29, says it is ready for the competition and has already identified various opportunities within the Ghanaian travel market.
Though there is strong competition in Accra for Qatar from Emirates, and the likes of Ethiopian Airlines on the Far East route, despite the impact of the current pandemic, Mr. Hendrik Du Preez, Qatar’s Vice President for Africa, believes that the airline’s on-board service, years of experience and ‘generous’ booking policies will set it apart.
“We at Qatar Airways have always welcomed competition. We are working closely with travel trade partners and stakeholders from the industry on some opportunities within the market.
“As the World’s Best Airline as voted by Skytrax with the Best Business Class product and the Best Airport in the Middle East, we pride ourselves on offering our passengers the very best travel experience. Additionally our generous booking policies and ongoing commitment to travelers offers peace of mind which is why many choose to rely on Qatar Airways for their travel plans,” Mr. Du Preez told AviationGhana in an exclusive interview.
The Gulf carrier started operating four weekly flights from the Kotoka International Airport on Tuesday, September 29.
The entry of the Doha-based airline has offered passengers more travelling options and stir competition in a market where demand has been dampened by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and where airlines are gradually resuming operations with reduced frequencies.
The airline’s entry has been long in coming. It was initially expected to start operations at the beginning of this year but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated widespread country border closures derailed its initial plans.
Mr. Du Preez confirms that: “We first announced our intention to launch flights to Accra in January 2020 and while the pandemic has slightly delayed these plans, it has not stopped us from fulfilling our commitment to passengers in Ghana and around the world.
“The combination of strong economic growth in Ghana and the large Ghanaian diaspora across Europe, the UK and U.S is why we decided to launch this route now. In time we believe we will be able to grow and strengthen this route as global travel recovers.”