More West African airlines return to the skies

Mauritania Airlines has resumed international flights following the reopening of the country’s airspace on September 11, 2020, after a month-long closure due to COVID-19.

A statement on the airline’s website confirmed Mauritania Airlines would resume with flights from Nouakchott to Mali, Benin, the Republic of Congo, Guinea, and Gabon according to the following schedule: Twice-weekly services from Nouakchott to Bamako, Cotonou, Pointe Noire, and Brazzaville; twice weekly from Nouakchott to Dakar Blaise Diagne Int’l and Conakry (both from September 11); as well as twice-weekly flights from Nouakchott to Dakar, Bamako, Cotonou, and Libreville from September 17.

Meanwhile, Africa World Airlines also announced the resumption of its international schedule from Accra to Lagos on September 11 and to Abuja on September 12. This was followed by the resumption of services from Accra to Freetown and Monrovia Roberts on September 13; and Accra to Abidjan from September 15.

Ghana closed its airports in March to curb the spread of COVID-19, but AWA resumed limited domestic services in April as lockdown restrictions were eased, and returned to full domestic capacity from August 1, 2020.

Fellow Ghanaian carrier PassionAir said both airlines decided together with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Company to initially defer a planned restart of their domestic operations from April 22 to April 27 as a result of logistical challenges to implementing enhanced health screening protocols at domestic airports. Having initially started with daily flights from Accra to Kumasi and Tamale, it upped its schedule in September to three times daily to Kumasi and twice daily to Tamale, the company said.

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