Air Senegal will be flying to the United States for the first time on September 2nd. The flag carrier of Senegal will be launching passenger flights from Blaise Diagne International to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall via New York John F. Kennedy International.
A small change
In May, it was announced that Air Senegal would be heading to Washington Dulles via JFK. The carrier was expecting a 70% seat load factor in the first year of this service. However, it now looks like that has been a change of plan as the carrier will be landing at the other international airport that serves the Washington metropolitan area.
It wasn’t a surprise that the airline was launching flights to the East Coast from Senegal’s capital. Flights to the US were expected since the company shared its intentions back in 2019. The interest ramped up after South African Airways switched its Johannesburg-Dakar-Washington service to stop at Accra.
The new Airbus A330-900neo service to BWI Marshall will be operated by Hi Fly Malta. It will fly twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays. Flight HC407 will leave Dakar at 01:30 to arrive in Baltimore at 10:00. HC408 leaves Maryland at 20:25 to land in Senegal at 12:25 the next day.
Air Senegal notes that the operation is set to run until at least late March 2022. Offering 32 flatbed business seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 237 economy seats.
Plenty of excitement
BWI Marshall’s leadership is ecstatic about the new service being introduced.
“We welcome this new Air Senegal service, which will foster tourism and trade opportunities between Maryland and Senegal. Air Senegal will offer easy access and efficient service to West Africa for many travelers throughout our National Capital region.” – Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport, via statement.
The wider Maryland aviation industry also has high hopes for the flights.
“The additional of Air Senegal to the BWI Marshall family is a win for the region and a win for the traveling public. BWI Marshall consistently earns high ratings for convenience, comfort and reliability, and I know our team is looking forward to extend that service and hospitality to Air Senegal customers.” – Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Greg Slater, via statement.
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Overall, over 18,000 people claim to be of Senegalese origin or descent in the US. While this is a somewhat sizeable demographic, the flights to BWI Marshall aren’t necessarily in place to cater primarily to this demographic.
Altogether, Air Senegal is keen to offer greater connections for several markets in Africa. It’s not only passengers from Senegal that would benefit from such an operation. Those from the likes of Mali, Guinea, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gambia now have another option to and from the US.
Air Senegal will be looking to connect passengers between its continent and the US capital area amid numerous political and business opportunities. Notably, with the flight landing in New York on the way, there are numerous market segments that can develop via the stop in the City That Never Sleeps.
What are your thoughts about Air Senegal’s one-stop operations between Baltimore/Washington International and Dakar? Do you think this is a good move by the carrier? Let us know what you think of the service and its prospects in the comment section.