The Aviation Ministry has drawn out a relief plan for the domestic aviation sector including waiving rent charges at the airports.
Already, domestic airlines are flying at half capacity as they comply with Social Distancing measures.
Speaking at the sides of a press encounter, the Sector Minister, Joseph Adda said this new relief package will be added to the tourism relief programme yet to be launched.
“We are waiving the landing charges. We are working on other reliefs as well. If you go to the airport now, those concessioners who rent space and put out their wares and sell to the travelling public are not having patronage yet they pay rent so we are waiving the rent as well. There will be other such reliefs and add it to what the tourism ministry is coordinating with the hospitality sector,” the minister stated.
The coronavirus pandemic has had drastic effects on the profit lines of the domestic and international aviation industry.
So far, about 2.8 million fewer passengers have been recorded resulting in a $0.38 billion revenue loss, risking 284,300 jobs and $1.6 billion in contribution to Ghana’s economy.
Aviation experts fear domestic airlines in Africa could lose $6 billion of passenger revenue compared to 2019. That is US$2billion more than was expected at the beginning of the month.
Job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 3.1 million. That is half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment. The previous estimate was 2 million. Also, full-year 2020 traffic is expected to plummet by 51% compared to 2019. The previous estimate was a fall of 32%.
GDP supported by aviation in the region could fall by US$28 billion from US$56 billion. The previous estimate was $17.8 billion.
These estimates are based on a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, with a gradual lifting of restrictions in domestic markets, followed by regional and intercontinental.
Resumption of Domestic Airlines amid COVID-19
Ghana has become the first African country to resume partial flight services with the reopening of domestic flight services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Domestic flight operations have now resumed following the lifting of the partial lockdown by President Nana Akuffo Addo.
The partial commencement of flight operations was preceded by thorough fumigation of the various regional airports and the introduction of new enhanced Covid-19 safety protocols by the Airport Authorities and the Ghana Health Service.
Passenger turnout on the first day of flight activity was surprisingly high. Both domestic careers Africa World Airlines and Passion Air confirmed their flights were fully booked on the first day.
At the Airports, new protocols such as the mandatory wearing of a nose mask, the use of hand sanitizers, observing social distancing in check-in queues and sitting arrangement at the boarding areas had been implemented.