British Airways’ £4.5 billion investment plan is delivering dividends for its African customers, with the airline increasing routes and capacity on the continent and introducing new onboard products and services.
Most recently it started three flights a week from London Heathrow directly to Durban, South Africa’s largest port city, using one of its newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
The Durban services began just after it added four 787-8 flights a week between London and Johannesburg to complement the existing double-daily A380 schedule.
It has also increased its daily Cape Town winter schedule to provide double-daily summer flights from Heathrow as well as offering three weekly flights between Gatwick and South Africa’s Mother City.
“With 38 flights a week, this is the most choice and capacity we’ve ever offered between South Africa and the UK,” says Sue Petrie, British Airways’ trade commercial manager for Southern Africa.
Other new routes include a twice-weekly service to Seychelles from Heathrow, which began in March. At the same time, the Gatwick/ Mauritius schedule was increased from three to five flights a week.
Elsewhere in Africa, the airline has added more seats to Lagos and is introducing enhanced products and services, including new catering on the Kenyan route and new bedding and amenities in premium cabins, including those on its daily Accra flights.
The investment plan focuses on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all customers, says Paolo de Renzis, commercial manager for Europe, corporate sales, Africa and Levant.
In Club World it is offering new bedding and amenity kits by luxury lifestyle brand, the White Company. The investment will see a new Club World seat in future, with aisle access from every seat. Lounges around the world are being revamped, including those in Johannesburg and Nairobi.
The World Traveller menus have been expanded, providing better, more filling meals in the long-haul economy cabin and snack options throughout the flight.
New World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins are being rolled out in the Boeing 777 fleet operating out of Gatwick. These aircraft operate the three additional flights to Cape Town during the South African summer.
The Boeing 747 fleet is also being upgraded, with new cabin interiors and in-flight entertainment systems. The investment plan will also see British Airways installing the best quality WiFi in every seat. This is already available on some African flights. The airline will also take delivery of 72 new aircraft.