Air Senegal To Start London Stansted Service This Summer

Air Senegal will start flying from Dakar to London with three weekly flights during the summer of 2020. The West African state-owned airline has announced that the new service will carry passengers from Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS) to London Stansted Airport (STN) starting on Friday, June 26th, 2020.

Air Senegal wants to be like Ethiopian Airlines. Photo: Anna Zvereva Wikimedia Commons

On the 2,738 mile route, Air Senegal will deploy one of its soon to be delivered Airbus A321-200 aircraft that features 16 seats in business class and 149 seats in economy. The business class seats can be made into a fully flat bed.

Connecting London to West Africa

The new route to London Stansted will use one of Air Senegal’s two new A321-200s. This three times weekly service operating as flight HC411 will depart Dakar at 00:15 and arrive in London at 06:25. The returning flight back to Africa is flight HC412. This flight will depart London Stansted at 07:50 and arrive back in Dakar at 14:05.

Passengers can connect in Dakar for other destinations in West Africa. Image: GCmaps

Passengers using the new London to Dakar service will be able to connect to various West African destinations within two hours. These destinations include Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Bamako in Mali, Banjul in the Gambia, Conakry in Guinea, Freetown in Sierra Leone and Praia in the Cape Verde Islands.

Air Senegal begins service to Sierra Leone

In addition to the new service to London Stansted, the young West African airline will introduce fifth-freedom flights to Freetown, Sierra Leone via Banjul in the Gambia. Along with this, the airline has announced that it will be increasing flights to Banjul.

Starting June 23rd 2020, Air Senegal will operate the following flights to its West African neighbors:

  • Operating as Air Senegal flight number HC223 the aircraft will depart Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS) at 16:00 and arrive at Banjul International Airport (BJL) at 16:40.
  • The aircraft will then depart Banjul at 17:45, arriving at Lungi International Airport (FNA) in Freeport at 17:25.
  • The return flights operating as flight number HC224 will depart Freetown at 21:05, arriving in Banjul at 21:05 before carrying on to Dakar at 21:50 arriving back in Senegal at 22:30.

Overall the flights to Banjul will remain the same at seven times per week. However, the route will utilize one of Air Senegal’s two Airbus A319-100s four times during the week rather than the normal ATR 72-600 that usually flies the route.

Air Senegal eyes West African domination

Founded in 2016 to replace the bankrupt Senegal Airlines, the new state-owned national flag carrier is part of a 20-year plan by the Senegalese government to build the region’s premier airline. Focusing primarily on a hub and spoke operation between Dakar’s Blaise Diagne International Airport and neighboring West African countries, Air Senegal would like to become West Africa’s version of Ethiopian Airlines.

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Air Senegal will also start flying to Geneva in June. Photo: Air Senegal

As a former French colony, Air Senegal has strong ties to France.  In practice this means a daily service between Dakar and Paris using one of the airlines two Airbus A330-900s. In keeping with its French-speaking population, Air Senegal plans to operate a flight from Dakar to Geneva, Switzerland with a three times weekly service beginning on June 18th,2020. This, together with the new flight to London, demonstrates Air Senegal’s desire to conquer the West African marketplace.

Air Senegal’s current fleet, according to is made up of two ATR 72-600s, two Airbus A319-100s, two Airbus A330-900s and one leased Boeing 737-500. On order for the airline are eight Airbus A220-300s which are due to begin delivery in 2021.

What do you think of Air Senegal’s plan to dominate West African aviation? Please let us know in the comments.

** The above routes were first published by Routesonline.**