Dick van Nieuwenhuyzen, Country Manager of Air France-KLM, told the B&FT at a press conference in Accra that: "If you look at the market, the BSP in 2014 was US$33million; US$73million in 2015; about US$177million by September 2016.
"This increase is purely the amount of money spent in this market. If you make an estimate, it will be around US$200million by December 2016. I think there is enough potential to add the daily KLM flights to the three Air France flights."
Air France is the latest to announce plans to operate three weekly flights between Accra, Ghana and Paris–Charles de Gaulle, France starting on February 28, 2017. The flights will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
These flights will be operated by an Airbus A330 with a capacity of 208 seats until March 27, 2017 and then by a Boeing 777-200 with 312 seats and equipped with the latest new Air France travel cabins for the entire summer season.
Jean-Raoul Tauzin, Air France’s Nigeria Manager, noted that the three weekly flights will strengthen Air France’s presence in Africa as well as the Air-France-KLM Group’s presence, as KLM flies daily from Amsterdam to Accra.
He said: "With Air France new service, we will provide customers with even more connecting opportunities at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, both to and from Europe and North America."
International passenger throughput has increased over the past few years. General international passenger departures increased by about six percent; from about 72,000 in July 2015 to about 76,000 in July 2016.
The transit passenger volumes increased from 14,000 in July 2015 to over 22, 000 in July this year.
Currently, Africa remains the continent with the largest number of French speakers. The International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) estimate that there are 96.2 million French-speakers in Africa.
About 13 countries in Africa have French as the language of instruction at the pre-tertiary level while other countries have French or bilingual studies at the tertiary level of Education.
Another incentive for the growing number of airlines in the country, in recent times, is the reduction in the price of aviation fuel. The price of the commodity was reduced from about US$3.14 per gallon to about US$2.33 per gallon in August.
Prior to the reduction in the price of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), otherwise known as aviation fuel, the price in Ghana was the highest in the sub-region.?
Economic challenges in West Africa’s largest economy Nigeria, has only served to benefit Ghana. For instance, more airlines are now lifting fuel in Ghana
Air France is not only targeting Francophones but also all passengers from Accra connecting flights to the UK, USA and other parts of the globe.
Together with its partner Kenya Airways, the airline flies to 46 destinations in Africa and hundreds of other destinations worldwide via Paris or Amsterdam.