London Stansted will open up the UK’s only direct service to the Senegalese capital, Dakar, from this summer, boosting tourism and trade links for the East of England and London.
London Stansted rallies to the call of Africa with new Air Senegal service to Dakar
Air Senegal, which has chosen London Stansted for its first ever UK service, will operate three flights a week starting on June 26 to the city made famous by the historic long-distance rally*.
The news has been welcomed by organisations and businesses in the region who say the flight will give local firms the chance to develop new trade and investment opportunities.
The route will also benefit the 400,000 people in London Stansted’s catchment area who currently travel to Dakar and other key African cities from other UK airports.
London 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. It’s another new long-haul destination to add to London Stansted’s departure boards which will connect people and businesses from the region to a new and important market.
“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. The flight will also provide people and businesses the opportunity to connect onto flights to several countries across Africa via its Dakar hub, including the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Mali, Republic of Guinea and Nigeria.”
Peter Manning OBE, Head of Essex International said: “I would encourage businesses in our region to use the launch of this new air route to Dakar as an opportunity to take a closer look at the vast continent of Africa as a potential new export and investment market. The UK-Africa Summit held just this January focused on sectors where our region has particular strengths, such as renewable energy, housing and technology. Plus, we have the unmatched resources of the City of London to finance projects.”
Dr Ann Limb, chair of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (lSCC), said: “As one of the fastest growing regions in the UK and a key global growth area for life sciences and med tech, this latest new service from London Stansted Airport is a major boost for the London - Cambridge Innovation Corridor.”
Bolaji Sofoluwe, Managing Director ETK Group, the Africa market entry advisory company based in Colchester, said: "A direct route to francophone Africa will create a brand-new range of opportunities for businesses in our region. It is also a great link for Africans in diaspora to the Western part of the continent. We fully support this strategic decision by Air Senegal.”
The airline will use an Airbus A321 on the route offering economy seats and fully reclining flat beds in business class.
Operating on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, flights will leave Stansted at 7.50am, arriving at Dakar’s Blaise Diagne International Airport at 2.05pm. On the return they depart Dakar at 12.15am and arrive at Stansted at 6.25am. The convenient flight times will allow passengers to connect to several countries across Africa, including the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Mali, Republic of Guinea and Nigeria.
Dakar is the latest in a series of new routes recently announced by Stansted, which include Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Amritsar, Istanbul and Reykjavik.
For more information visit https://flyairsenegal.com/en/home/
*The Dakar Rally is a long-distance navigation rally that originated in the deserts of Africa, that moved to South America for a few years with this year’s race taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Dakar - Regarded as a hidden gem in Africa, Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland. There’s no shortage of things to see and do with a number of stunning, near-empty beaches nearby and markets to visit, and for those wanting to venture inland there are several game reserves boasting hippos, elephants and lions.
London Stansted is London's third-busiest airport, currently serving around 22 million passengers a year. The airport is ideally located in between the global tech and life science hubs of London and Cambridge.