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Virgin Atlantic to end flights to Accra

Virgin Atlantic still on course for return to profit this year

Virgin Atlantic is to axe its flights to Accra in Ghana from September after running the service for just three years.

Virgin will end the Heathrow-Accra flights from September 23 and blamed the decision on the “exceptionally high” price of fuel in Ghana.

Virgin started the service in May 2010 and was competing directly with British Airways on the route – Virgin currently runs five flights per week while BA operates daily services.

Edmond Rose, Virgin’s director of airline planning, 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.

“However, we have 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.”

Rose added that due to the “scarcity of slots” at Heathrow, Virgin had been unable to offer morning arrivals into the UK hub which had made the route “a less attractive option for the business traveller”.

“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,” said Rose.

Comments

BA will love that, otherwise its quite a lucrative route

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

This is terrible! We love Virgin Atlantic and always take it to Ghana as it lands in the morning in Ghana and in Heathrow. Now we have to take BA which lands in the night, then my uncle will have to drive us to Kumasi from Accra in the dark -_-

Kristian's picture
Kristian (not verified)

“scarcity of slots” at Heathrow....Virgin Atlantic should purchase slots as every other airline at Heathrow has done successfully to expand.

Michael99's picture
Michael99 (not verified)

Buying slots is a massively expensive thing to do when there are none available and nobody wants to sell any. BA resorted to buying BMI to get their slots and even then Could not keep all of them. Tanking jet fuel to Ghana is ludicrous, never mind economically mad, it's also environmentally insane. If BA want it let them have it, Virgin needs to cut its loss making activity.

Jetboy2012's picture
Jetboy2012 (not verified)

"" If BA want it let them have it, Virgin needs to cut its loss making activity"".....BA have been serving Accra for decade upon decade. It is not a case of them 'wanting' it...they make it work. Every airline that has wished to expand at Heathrow has been able to through the acquisition of slots. Delta and Emirates are good examples. Up untl recently Virgin was actually leasing out some of their Heathrow slots to other airlines !!

Michael99's picture
Michael99 (not verified)

Let's face it, the airline needs to focus on the routes on which it makes money.

Presumably BA makes money on those routes because of connecting traffic at the LHR end. Virgin has less of that, if any, and despite the new Lite Red service coming down from Scotland, unless the plane is half full of Ghananians wanting to fly home, it won't help.

I think it's fair enough of Virgin to point at fuel and lack of well-timed slots - what else can they say? Our business model is broken....?

Thomas Genser's picture
Thomas Genser

B777 versus an A340 doesn't help either it would seem?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

PS. The A340 really wasn't designed for that kinda of route...it was meant for the long-haul....which explains why they can carry so much fuel all the way to Ghana.

A shame they can't add a stop in Lagos to fill up. Oil must surely be cheaper there?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

This is terrible! We love Virgin Atlantic and always take it to Ghana as it lands in the morning in Ghana and in the evening in Heathrow. Now we have to take BA which lands in the night, -_-

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Virgin should get a morning slot at Gatwick is Heathrow has no more morning slots - we need more competition on the Accra - London route. with virgin gone there is only one direct flight to Accra from London

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Buying slots is a massively expensive thing to do when there are none available and nobody wants to sell any. BA resorted to buying BMI to get their slots and even then Could not keep all of them. Tanking jet fuel to Ghana is ludicrous, never mind economically mad, it's also environmentally insane. If BA want it let them have it, Virgin needs to cut its loss making activity.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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