Aviation industry regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), is to meet all dormant airlines by the end of this month to ascertain the cause of their inactivity and collectively decide on a roadmap for resumption of their operations.
“We are meeting them to find out their current situation so we can work together to get them operational again,” Simon Allotey, Director-General of the GCAA, told the B&FT.
Though there are 13 Ghanaian valid Air Operators Certificate (AOC) holders – which allows them to operate domestic and regional passenger and cargo flights – as at March 2018, only seven are active.
A further eight airlines which hold valid Air Carrier Licences (ACL) are working with the regulator toward attaining an AOC to enable them start their operations. However, some have stalled the process by their inability to meet stringent regulatory requirements.
The meeting, expected to come off by close of the month, will help determine when pioneering airlines City Link and Antrak, as well as Starbow and others, resume operations to existing domestic airports and the soon-to-be-inaugurated Wa and Ho airports.
The need for such a meeting has become imperative given the growing investment in on ground airport infrastructure, but there are not enough active airlines to serve the growing domestic and regional aviation market.
The airports operator, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), has invested about US$400million in constructing a new airport at Ho, rehabilitating the Wa aerodrome, and the construction of a new Terminal, Terminal 3, at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The regulator has also spent significant sums in the acquisition of navigational equipment for the Ho, Wa, Tamale and Kumasi airports in recent times.
The demise of local airlines
Antrak Air and City Link led the growth of domestic air travel in the country more than a decade ago. They were later joined by Fly 540, Starbow and Africa World Airlines (AWA).
A combination of managerial fragilities, difficult operating environment, lack of financial muscle in a cash-intensive industry, and poor equipment choice are but a few of the challenges that brought most of the domestic operators to their knees.
City Link suspended operations five years ago due to various reasons. Fly 540 – a part of African Airline Group, FASTJET – also in May 2014 suspended all operations, saying: “The Company intends to fully focus on the considerable potential of opportunities in East and Southern Africa, and this legacy 540 operation is not, therefore, part of the core low-cost FASTJET model”.
Antrak Air, a pioneer in domestic air travel, initially suspended its operations for three months in June 2015 following challenges with its wet lease arrangement with Swift Air, a Spanish airliner, for the use of the latter’s two ATR 72-500 turbo-prop aircraft.
The airline, in a statement announcing its decision to suspend operations said: “During this period we will be looking at reorganisation, as it concerns our business model. We have been compelled to strategically suspend all operations from the domestic market, with the aim of restructuring to meet the rapidly-changing and competitive environment.
“We are in advanced talks to take delivery of our own aircraft, which will give us more flexibility and less restrictive scheduling. We will return with the most convenient schedules, competitive fares and friendly service.”
Unfortunately, any such reorganisation has taken more than two years – with no hope yet of resuscitating the pioneering airline.
The collapse of the three main domestic airlines left Starbow and AWA as the only two carriers offering domestic air services to four main destinations across the country.
Starbow’s suspension of operations a few months ago has left only AWA to serve a growing demand for domestic air travel.
- Takoradi woman faked pregnancy and kidnap – Regional Minister
- Kohwe was not my brother – George Laing clarifies
- Provisional census results peg Ghana’s population at 30.8m – Statistical Service
- Suspected thief made to weed acres of land as punishment at Bibiani
- Takoradi missing woman: Neighbours, husband dispute Regional Minister’s claim she faked pregnancy, kidnap
- There are still more women in Ghana than men – 2021 PHC by GSS
- Police deny NPP executives’ bail request for 12 arrested protestors in North East Region
- Peugeot Landtrek Double Cabin 4×4 vehicle launched; assembling of Peugeot vehicles in Ghana to begin in March 2022
- 10 dogs maul 2-year-old pupil to death in school compound
- ‘Vaccines as a tool for immigration control is retrogressive’ – Akufo-Addo
KsTU, GIZ train over 200 artisans in the construction sector
Kumasi youth benefit from IT skills training by NarrowLite International
Graduate put before court for allegedly defrauding Sunyani Technical University SRC of ¢39k
Okudzeto Ablakwa stresses need for policy to stop President Akufo-Addo from abandoning the presidential Jet –
1992 Constitution is the main cause of Poverty in Ghana – Prof. Sarfo-Kantanka
We must learn to accept criticisms, we can’t be right all the time – Sefa Kayi to journalists
‘Admit AU in G20 Group of Nations – Akufo-Addo
‘Ghana will defend democracy and constitutional rule’ – Akufo-Addo
Guinea coup: Military junta willing to see to Condé’s release – Akufo-Addo
‘Vaccines as a tool for immigration control is retrogressive’ – Akufo-Addo
Absa Group to Implement Second Significant B-BBEE Transaction
Musician Kaakyire Kwame Appiah enstooled Benkumhene Of Bosomtwe Asaman
Suaman youth shower praise on Akufo-Addo for DCE appointment
Izwe Savings and Loans rewards customers and staff at its 10th anniversary virtual cake cutting ceremony
Prudential Bank donates vehicle to reward first runner-up of teacher prize