AFRICA – United Airlines, the third largest airline by fleet size, has relaunched flights to the capitals of Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa.

This was recently disclosed by the airline’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, in an interview with live and Let’s Fly- a popular travel blog.

United Airlines like many other carriers was forced to scale back its operations after the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic in a bid to help contain the spread of the virus.

The result was a significant loss in revenues that threatened to collapse the airline and the entire aviation industry.

In a recent earnings call, United reported that revenues were down more than 87% compared to last year.

The airline announced that it will be putting 16,370 workers on involuntary, indefinite furlough at the start of October unless more aid materializes from the United States government.

The US-based carrier is also moving at a quick pace to relaunch its international flights to create enough revenue to help int maintain its workers and stay afloat even as the pandemic continues to disrupt economic activities globally.

United Airlines says that it will add service to Lagos, Nigeria from its Washington Dulles hub.

Vice President of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle explained that the airline had previously operated service between Houston and Lagos for many years.

Quayle however noted that with the oil market depressed, Washington was chosen as it appeared to be the most lucrative opportunity for the airline.

According to Quayle, the Washington-Lagos service will operate 3 weekly flights starting next spring.

With the launch of the service, United be in competition with Delta which already offers service from New York JFK to Lagos utilizing a 767-300.

United Airlines also launched a new route from Washington to Ghana’s capital, Accra with the hope of tapping into growing Ghanaian population in the greater Washington metro area.

Quayle revealed that the Washington-Accra service will operate 3x weekly starting next spring and will compete with Delta airlines which already serves Ghana from New York’s JFK airport.

With South African Airways on life support, Quayle explained that United will add daily service between Newark and Johannesburg beginning in Spring 2021.

 The move according to Quayle, is expected to complement existing seasonal service to Cape Town.

While critics argued that United’s move at a time the world still battles COVID-19 pandemic could backfire, Quayle is confident that the decision was timely as it will help customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world.

He added that the new non-stop routes would provide shorter travel times, and convenient one-stop connections from across the United States.

This, according to Quayle, was a demonstration of United’s continued innovative, and forward-looking approach to rebuilding its network to meet the travel needs of customers.

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