RwandAir To Run Accra-New York Route

RwandAir hopes to use the West Africa hub of Accra to feed its direct flights to the US once it gets the final approval from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the US Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).

A statement from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority said although RwandAir has formally made the request, the Authority is yet to approve it.

“RwandaAir has requested for 5th Freedom Traffic Rights from the Ministry of Aviation to operate the Accra – New York route. This has however not been approved.

The request will be discussed between Ghana and Rwanda at the forthcoming ICAO Air Services Negotiations Conference scheduled to be held in Nairobi from December 10 to 14,” the statement said.

The move by RwandAir to use Accra as its feed for the New York route comes as competitor Kenya Airways cuts down its frequency on the newly launched New York route from seven to five due to low numbers.

In October, Kenya Airways launched daily direct nonstop flights from its Nairobi hub to New York’s JFK Airport.

Now, facing reduced passenger numbers and the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere, Kenya Airways plans to cut its frequency to five times a week effective January 15.

South African Airways, Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc and Delta Air Lines also offer scheduled passenger services from Africa to the US.

But it is only KQ that has direct nonstop flights to New York, with Ethiopian connecting either through Dublin, Ireland or West Africa on the outbound flight and nonstop on its return flight.

Announcing the reduction of frequency last Thursday, Kenya Airways chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz said that while the reduction of frequencies was a strategic business decision, the airline remains strongly committed to the New York route and will continue to offer nonstop services.