3 domestic carriers to hit the skies by end of year – GCAA

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) says licensing procedures for three domestic airlines will be finalized to enable them begin operations in the country by December.

The move according to the GCAA is to supplement operations of the African World Airlines (AWA), and to offer more options to customers for domestic and sub-regional travel.

“We currently have numerous applications from prospective domestic airlines wanting to do business in the country, but the GCAA will finalize the licensing procedure for at least three of the most qualified operators by December,” GCAA’s Snr. Manager for Business Development and Statistics, Stephen Wilfred Arthur, disclosed to the Goldstreet Business.

Wilfred Arthur, addressing tourism operators and experts on the topic, ‘Transportation as a catalyst for tourism development’ at the just ended West Africa Integrated Travel (WAIT) forum, organized by the Ghana Tourism Authority and the West Africa Tourism Organization in Accra, explained that air travel which contributes almost 52 percent to global tourists’ movement cannot be undermined.

“That is why the GCCA would want more qualified domestic airlines to acquire certification to operate here. Air travel facilitates speedy movement of tourists and connects more effectively to destinations,” he said.

Arthur maintained that though the process for acquiring certification for airline operators in Ghana takes at least two years, ECOWAS member countries need to adopt a single framework to facilitate air travel as means of marketing the sub region.

Answering questions on why the national carrier, Ghana Airways, collapsed, Arthur attributed that to undue government interference, adding, “everybody wants free ticket, including government officials, top CEOs and the average citizen.”

“To be successful as a nation, the proposed new national carrier by government, must be run along sound business and commercial principles. We have to certainly learn from Ethiopia and Kenya,” Arthur said.

GTA’s CEO, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, emphasized the need to create a West Africa regional bloc for travel and tourism to be in line with countries in East and Southern Africa.

“There is the urgent need to adopt a West African tourism brand, with a single tourism calendar to effectively promote the sub region,” Mr. Agyeman maintained.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe