Qatar Airways launched its long-awaited maiden flight from Doha to Accra via Lagos on Tuesday, 29th September, 2020.
In Tuesday’s announcement of the maiden Flight, the Qatar Airways Group’s Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker is reported as saying, “We are delighted to be launching flights to the capital of Ghana, one of the fastest-growing economies in the region famed for its local hospitality and highly sought-after agricultural exports. 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, With the strong Ghanaian diaspora especially in Europe, the UK and U.S. We are thankful to the Ghanaian Government for their support in helping us to launch these flights, providing an opportunity to reunite family and friends with their loved ones. We look forward to working closely with our partners in Ghana to steadily grow this route and support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region.”
The Flight which was the Airline’s state of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, left Doha at 12:30 am and arrived at Accra at 9:00 a.m. and had among other passengers on board, Ghana’s Ambassador to the State of Qatar, H. E. Mr. Emmanuel Enos and other Qatari officials. On touch down at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the Qatar Airways Flight No. QR1415 was welcomed in Accra with the traditional water canon ceremony.
At the Airport to welcome the Flight were the Minister for Civil Aviation Hon. Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Charles Wiredu, Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation, Hon. Mr. Yaw Afful, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr. Reginald Yofi Grant, General Director of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Charles Kraikue, Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mr. Yaw Kwakwa, Chairpersons and other Board Members of the Civil Aviation and Ghana Airport Company and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Ghana.
In his welcome remarks, the Minister for Aviation, Hon. Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda expressed his happiness at the launch of the Qatar Airways Accra route, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and termed that a mark of confidence in what was going on in Ghana and the Aviation sector. He invited the Airline to formally create its hub in Ghana as the gateway to the West African Sub Region and Africa as whole. The Minister equally encouraged Qatar Airways invest into the Ghanaian Aviation Sector, particularly in areas such as aviation training, maintenance and engineering.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), Mr. Yoofi Grant, indicated his confidence that Ghana is opened to business and was well-positioned to bring in more investors. He applauded the engagements with the State of Qatar over the last two years as being fruitful.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited also indicated his enthusiasm that the Airline had finally made inroads by starting its operations to Ghana.
Following the launch, Qatar Airways would operate four weekly flights from Accra through Lagos to Doha on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This increases the number of Qatar Airways destinations to Africa and equally offers its guests travelling from Ghana, seamless connectivity via Hamad International Airport to over 28 destinations in the Asia-Pacific, 31 in Europe, 12 in the Middle East and nine in North America.
Considering that the Governments of Ghana and the State of Qatar opened resident diplomatic missions in each other’s Capitals only in 2018, the launch of the Qatar Airways Flight to Accra is the mark of enhanced bilateral relations between Ghana and Qatar, which continue to be growing from strength to strength.
More particularly, this has the enormous potential of opening opportunities in diverse fields of endeavour towards strengthening the people to people relationships between Ghana and the State of Qatar.