United Airlines will inaugurate its first-ever service to Africa in 2010, with one daily, same-plane flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Accra, Ghana, and Lagos, Nigeria.
The airline also will extend its existing daily Washington Dulles-Kuwait flight to include Bahrain, and also plans to offer a new non-stop flight between Chicago and Brussels, Belgium. Introduction of all of the new services is subject to government approval.
United Airlines says the new routes reflect the continuing optimization of its international network.
Daily non-stop service from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Accra, the capital of the west African nation of Ghana, begins on May 2. The flight will continue from Accra to Lagos, Nigeria. The return flight will operate from Lagos to Accra and Washington Dulles. The flights, which will be available for sale this fall, will be operated by Boeing 767-300ERs.
The schedule for the service has flight UA990 departing IAD at 10:10 p.m. and arriving at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport (ACC) at 12:40 p.m. the next day. Using the same flight number, it will then leave ACC at 2:20 p.m. to reach Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) at 4:25 p.m. For the return flight, flight UA991 is timed to depart LOS at 9:15 p.m. (from May 3, 2010) and arrive at ACC at 9:20 p.m. local time. UA991 then will leave ACC at 11:00 p.m. to make a 6:25 a.m. arrival the next day at IAD.
“I am delighted that United Airlines, a global leader in the airline industry, has demonstrated the economic wisdom to expand its routes to include destinations in Africa,” says U.S. Represenative Bobby Rush of Illinois. “African economies are among the fastest growing in the world, registering nearly 6 per cent overall economic growth in 2007, the highest in 20 years. United’s new routes are an important element in advancing the mutual trade interests of the United States and Africa and I am encouraged by the prospects for enhanced economic prosperity for the three nations.”
On April 18, United will launch the only same-plane service operated from the Western Hemisphere to the Kingdom of Bahrain. United’s existing non-stop service from Washington Dulles to Kuwait International Airport (KWI) will continue to Bahrain International Airport (BAH), with the return flight also stopping in Kuwait before continuing to Washington Dulles.
These flights will be operated by Boeing 777-200s. The schedule calls for flight UA982 to depart IAD at 6:12 p.m., arriving at KWI at 1:35 p.m. the following day. Under the same flight number, the aircraft then departs KWI at 2:50 p.m. to make a 3:55 p.m. arrival at BAH.
On the way back, flight UA981 is timed to leave BAH at 9:25 pm. and arrive at KWI at 10:30 p.m., departing KWI again at 11:45 p.m. to reach IAD at 6:47 a.m. local time the following day.
United offers more than 275 daily departures from Washington Dulles to more than 90 cities.
Additionally, United will inaugurate non-stop service between Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Brussels National Airport (BRU) on March 28, offering connections on Brussels Airlines (which joins the Star Alliance on December 9) to points in Europe and Africa. The Chicago-Brussels services also are timed to offer convenient connections at Chicago O’Hare to and from dozens of cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. As the largest airline in Chicago, United offers more than 570 daily departures to more than 130 cities worldwide.
United’s Chicago-Brussels flights will be operated by Boeing 767-300ERs. Flight UA972 is timed to depart ORD at 6:00 p.m. and reach BRU at 9:20 a.m. the following day, with return flight UA973 pushing back at BRU at 11:00 a.m. to arrive at ORD at 1:15 p.m.
The airline will continue to offer non-stop service between Washington and Brussels.