The British Airways is currently working out a five-year customer-centric investment plan of £4.5 billion in its expansion drive on the African continent.

The airline disclosed its plans today, following the launch of its three-weekly direct flights from London Heathrow to Durban, South Africa.

According to the airline, the Heathrow/Durban service will be the only non-stop link between Europe and Africa and will be operated by the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Durban is the second new African route British Airways has launched this year, less than two months after it began flying twice weekly to Seychelles from Heathrow in March. It also expanded its three Gatwick/ Mauritius services to five a week.

On its Lagos route, the airline has added more seats and is introducing new onboard products and services, including its daily services to Accra in Ghana.

In a bid to excite its customers flying African routes with excellent in-flight services in the premium cabins and other quality incentives, the airline plans to inject a huge chunk of £4.5 billion to boost the drive in five years.

On a number of African routes, it has already introduced new bedding and amenity kits in the Club World Cabin by luxury lifestyle brand, the White Company. The investment will also see a new Club World seat in future.

At its Heathrow hub, the airline has opened a First Wing check-in area with direct security and lounge access. Lounges around the world are being revamped, including Johannesburg and Nairobi.

In World Traveller, newly expanded menus have been introduced, providing more quantity and quality in the long-haul economy cabin, as well as snack options throughout the flight.

New World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins are being rolled out in the Boeing 777 fleet operating out of Gatwick. These aircraft operate three additional flights to Cape Town during the South African summer.

Part of the investment plan will also see British Airways installing the best-quality WiFi in every seat, and upgrading the interiors of 128 long-haul aircraft.

The airline has also disclosed that it will soon take delivery of 72 new aircraft as part of its investment to drive expansion on the African continent.