British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines, today announced plans to invest £4.5 billion in its expansion drive on the African continent within the next five years.
The disclosure was sequel to the launch of its three-weekly direct flights from London Heathrow to Durban, South Africa.
The airline hinted that the Heathrow/Durban service would be the only non-stop link between Europe and Africa and will be operated by its newest Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
With the latest initiative, Durban becomes the second new African route the airline launched this year. Earlier in March, it announced its twice weekly flights to Seychelles from Heathrow just as it also expanded its three Gatwick/ Mauritius services to five a week.
As part of its customer-centric operational strategies, the airline has added more seats and is introducing new onboard products and services on its Lagos route, including its daily services to Accra in Ghana.
Similalry, British Airways has already introduced new bedding and amenity kits in the Club World Cabin by luxury lifestyle brand, the White Company on a number of African routes.The investment will also see a new Club World seat in future.
Already, the airlines has opened a First Wing check-in area with direct security and lounge access at its Heathrow hub while lounges around the world are being revamped, including those of Johannesburg and Nairobi.
In World Traveller, newly expanded menus have been introduced, providing more quantity and quality in the long-haul economy cabin, as well as snack options throughout the flight.
The New World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins are being rolled out in the Boeing 777 fleet operating out of Gatwick which also operate three additional flights to Cape Town during the South African summer.
According to the management, part of the investment plan will also lead to installation of world class WiFi in every seat, and upgrading the interiors of 128 long-haul aircraft.
As a key investment component of the route expansion plan in the African continent, the airline has also disclosed that it will soon take delivery of 72 new aircraft.