The Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor has revealed that she made strenuous effort to get British airline Virgin Atlantic to rescind its decision to suspend operations in Ghana.
The British airline has announced that it is suspending all flights to Ghana, citing what it described as exceptionally high fuel costs. It also cited its inability to operate morning arrivals from Accra due to scarcity of slots at Heathrow.
The airline has been operating the Accra-Heathrow route over the past three years.
Dzifa Attivor told Joy News officials from Virgin Atlantic were in her office to formally inform her about their decision and cited the same reasons.
Despite “quickly drawing” their attention to the fact that government has reduced the cost of aviation fuel since April by about 20%, they still maintained that they were operating under a loss, she said.
She noted that one of the main reasons which prompted Virgin Atlantic to start operating in the country was the “booming economy” in 2010/2011, but they claimed the economy has failed to maintain the momentum.
The airline, the minister said, cannot cite tax as an excuse for suspending their operation because recent survey confirms that Ghana does not “have enough taxes as compared to the UK where they are coming from”.
Joy News has learnt other airlines including North American Airlines cited the country’s high fuel costs for stopping flights to the country. Such suspensions mean a loss of revenue to government.