By: Michael Eli Dokosi
The Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA); Simon Allotey says incentives are being prepared for domestic airlines which do not ply the traditional routes to enjoy.
Mr. Allotey explained the move is to stimulate growth and boost domestic tourism adding “all travel should not be on the Accra-Kumasi-Accra; Accra-Takoradi-Accra; and Accra-Tamale-Accra routes. There should also be busy travel from Kumasi to Takoradi, Takoradi to Tamale. Ho now has its own port too.”
He mentioned that Airport Authority and the Ghana Civil Aviation are working to reduce fees and charges in hopes of enticing the domestic airlines to also ply the non-traditional routes adding “we could extend operation time for such airlines if need be.”
At the height of passenger boom in the domestic market from 2012 and 2014, there were five airlines operating in the market: Africa World Airlines, Antrak, City Link, Fly 540, and Starbow but many of these airlines have folded with factors such as high operating cost, depreciation of the cedi, nuisance taxes and high fuel prices blamed.
For some time, the only surviving player in the market was the Africa World Airline (AWA) which enjoyed a monopoly till Passion Air entered the sector.
The entry of Passion Air has led to a significant drop in airfares resulting in an increase in traffic from 400 to about 700 passengers, on the Accra Kumasi route. The Kumasi-Accra-Kumasi route has also seen a rise from 6 to 10 flights a day.
Passion Air says they are ready to secure their third commercial aircraft early November to boost its operations. It begun with a GHS250.00 one way fair to Kumasi or Accra and has since cultivated a sizeable number who patronise its services.