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24 February, 2020 - 23:01 By Kate Sweeney

Dakar rallies to Stansted pulling power with Senegal service

London Stansted Airport 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.

Air Senegal, which has chosen 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.”

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. 

Stansted says 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. 

PHOTOGRAPH - Air-Senegal aircraft taking off – Credit Airbus

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