Travel to West Africa from Houston is in high demand due to strong business and cultural ties that exist between the two destinations. Houston Airport officials recently met with airport professionals in the region to explore ways to enhance connections throughout West Africa and Houston as well as building a cooperative relationship to share technical, commercial and customer service best practices.
“Houston is a global gateway and our collaboration with other airports to enhance the passenger experience is imperative,” said Chief External Affairs Officer Saba Abashawl. “The Houston Airport System has cooperative agreements with several airports in West Africa — a region that is seeing a steady rise in demand for air travel. We must foster close relations and share best practices to ensure our passengers have a safe and pleasant journey.”
Demand for air service between Houston and West Africa is high:
- Houston has one of the largest West African populations among cities in the U.S.
- Houston is the 4th largest market among U.S. cities for local traffic to Africa. Only New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles rank higher.
- Trade ties between Houston and West Africa are almost $500M annually.
The Houston Airport System team met with airport officials at Kotaka International Airport in Accra, Ghana and Gnassingbe Eyadema International Airport in Tokoin, Togo, which recently opened a new modern terminal capable of handling 1.6 million passengers a year.
Meetings were also had with airlines in the region to enhance connections to destinations throughout West Africa. Many Houston-based Oil & Gas businesses have employees that need to travel to various cities in the region. West Africa contains the largest oil producing nation and the third largest gas producing nation on the continent according to the latest Statistical Review of World Energy.
“We further developed relationships and developed a better understanding of the unique challenges seen in the region,” said Houston Airport System Senior Air Service Development Executive Carl Schultz. “An important step in establishing the basis for future service; which would further strengthen our position as a global gateway.”
The Houston Airport System has added nine foreign flag carriers over the past three years and experienced unprecedented passenger traffic totals.