The UK is to get a direct connection to Senegal with the launch of flights from Stansted to Dakar this summer.
Air Senegal will offer three flights a week from 26 June to the West African country, which is next to Gambia. Flights will depart Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 7.50am, arriving at 2.05pm. Inbound services depart Dakar at 12.15am, arriving at 6.25am.
Flights are timed to permit connections to destinations including Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Mali, Republic of Guinea and Nigeria. The carrier will use an Airbus A321 that offers flat beds in business class.
Government-backed Air Senegal is part of a plan to upgrade the country’s connectivity. Dakar’s Blaise Diagne International airport opened in 2017, replacing an older facility.
Tourism to the French-speaking country is relatively small, but Serenity Holidays has offered packages from the UK.
Stansted’s chief commercial officer Aboudy Nasser said: “We are delighted that Air Senegal has chosen London Stansted for their first and only direct service from the UK to Dakar.
“We know that 400,000 people in London Stansted’s catchment area currently travel to Dakar and other African cities every year from other UK airports, so this new service will not only provide greater choice but help cut down unnecessary journeys.”
Meanwhile, Tunisia’s Nouvelair will offer its first UK flights this summer. Services from Gatwick and Manchester to Enfidha, which serves resorts around Hammamet, will run from May to October.
The carrier hopes to replace capacity lost following the collapse of Thomas Cook. Nouvelair has previously operated charters to the UK and launched an English version of its website in November.