Why Ghana threatened British Airways
British Airways flies to Accra, Ghana. Historically the airline has operated its Ghana service out of London Heathrow Airport, but for flights as of March 28, 2021, the airline had planned to operate the flight out of London Gatwick Airport.
Ghana’s government wasn’t happy about this change. Gatwick is generally considered to be less premium than Heathrow, so the government called this change “unfavorable” towards Ghanaian passengers.
Ghana’s government decided to threaten British Airways with reciprocal action — if British Airways wanted to transfer the Ghana flight to Gatwick, then Ghana would require British Airways to use a less premium airport in Ghana.
There was only one small problem with the threat — Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra is the only major international airport in the country, so there’s not another airport the service could practically be moved to.
Was Ghana’s government really going to essentially ban British Airways flights just out of pride?
British Airways backtracks, gives in to Ghana
You’d think British Airways would have maintained its stance, recognizing that the government’s threat was baseless. That’s not what happened, though — British Airways has made the decision to continue operating the Accra route out of Heathrow rather than Gatwick.
The service is operated out of Heathrow as of now, and that will continue to be the case even as of later this month, when the transition was supposed to happen.
British Airways will continue to operate its service to Ghana out of Heathrow rather than Gatwick. The airline was going to change the airport for this service as part of a strategy shift, though Ghana’s government threatened the airline over this.
The problem is that this was clearly an empty threat, as there’s no practical option to punish British Airways with reciprocity, given that the country doesn’t have another major airport.
However, British Airways gave in, and will continue to operate this service out of Heathrow. I’m curious to hear what Ghana’s next complaint about British Airways will be, given that the government has a history of taking issue with the airline.
Are you surprised to see British Airways give in to Ghana’s threat?