The Senegalese capital of Dakar is to be served from Stansted this summer.

Air Senegal has selected Stansted for its first UK service with three flights a week from  June 26.

The airline will use an Airbus A321 on the route to the west African country offering economy seats and fully reclining flat beds in business class.

Flights will run on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, leaving the Essex airport at 7.50am to land at Dakar’s Blaise Diagne International airport at 2.05pm local time. The return departs Dakar at 12.15am and arrives at Stansted at 6.25am.

The schedule is designed to allow passengers to connect to several countries across Africa, including the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Mali, Republic of Guinea and Nigeria.

The route will also benefit an estimated 400,000 people in Stansted’s catchment area who currently travel to Dakar and other African cities from alternative UK airports.

Dakar is the latest in a series of new routes from Stansted, which include Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Amritsar, Istanbul and Reykjavik.

Stansted chief commercial officer, Aboudy Nasser, said: “We are delighted that Air Senegal has chosen London Stansted for their first and only direct service from the UK to Dakar. It’s another new long-haul destination to add to London Stansted’s departure boards which will connect people and businesses from the region to a new and important market.

“We know that 400,000 people in London Stansted’s catchment area currently travel to Dakar and other African cities every year from other UK airports, so this new service will not only provide greater choice but help cut down unnecessary journeys.

“The flight will also provide people and businesses the opportunity to connect onto flights to several countries across Africa via its Dakar hub.”