Malian airspace closure disrupts BA flight bound for Accra

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Malian airspace closure disrupts BA flight bound for Accra
Malian airspace closure disrupts BA flight bound for Accra

Ghana’s airport authorities have clarified that British Airways (BA) flight bound for Accra from London was unable to land at the specified destination on Friday night (April 8, 2022) due to the airspace restrictions in Bamako, Mali.

As a result, Flight BA 081 had to return to London.

A joint press statement dated April 9, 2022, issued by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) in Accra said: “GCAA and GACL wish to inform the general public that British Airways has reported that its Flight BA 081 outbound flight (London-Accra), was unable to land in Accra on Friday, April 8, 2022 due to the Airspace Restrictions in Bamako, Mali.

“Consequently, the BA flight had to return to London. British Airways has informed its passengers accordingly.”

Next step

The statement said BA will operate two flights on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

“Details of the additional flights are to be communicated to passengers. British Airways Passenger handling and Ticketing staff will be available this evening [Saturday], to offer assistance to affected passengers and also direct those who have been rebooked onto other carriers.

“Managements of GCAA and GACL would like to assure the travelling public that it will provide British Airways with the needed assistance for the smooth facilitation of affected passengers,” the statement added.

Below is a video of the flight tracker showing where the flight turned around and headed towards London but stopped over in Malaga, Spain

Passengers account

Meanwhile, some passengers on the flight have told Graphic Online that the plane rather had to land in Malaga in Spain for refuel at about 22:10 GMT.
A British Airways local team at Heathrow made overnight accommodation and transport to the hotel and to the airport arrangements for the passengers.

British Airways management has since issued an apology letter to the passengers.

Below is a copy of the letter

BA81 - London Heathrow to Accra
08 April 2022

Dear Customer,
We are sorry that your flight to Accra today has had to be delayed overnight.

As we are sure you were informed, due to airspace restrictions en-route to Accra, despite our best efforts to mitigate against any impact to your flight, we had to make the difficult decision to return to Heathrow and delay your flight overnight.

We had to make a stop in Malaga so that we were able to fuel the aircraft before departing again for Heathrow.

Any delay can be frustrating, and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.

Your new departure

Your new departure time and check-in information will be communicated to you via SMS as soon as this has been arranged. Please ensure your contact details are up to date on BA.com/manage my booking.

New flight details

Your new flight number will be BA1081. You can visit ba.com/flightstatus for the most update information.
Your Luggage

We will look after your luggage overnight and re- load these on to your new departure.

Need a place to sleep?

Our local teams at Heathrow airport have arranged overnight accommodation and transport to hotel for you. The coaches will be waiting for you at bus stop 19. We will also arrange for you to be collected.
Have an onward connection?

If you have an onward connection on a through ticketed journey that you are now at risk of missing, please be assured that our rebooking team is aware and will rebook you in accordance with your new arrival time. You can check ba.com/mmb for any changes to your booking or speak to a member of staff when you arrive at the airport tomorrow.

Once again, we apologise for any impact this has had on your travel plans and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
British Airways

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Below is a copy of the joint statement by the GCAA and GACL