Floating shares in National Airline will end ‘free-ticket’ regime – Aviation Min

Former Ghana Airways in its heydays

Government’s quest to float public shares in the new home-based carrier, which is to begin operations by end of year, will drive a sense of belongingness in all citizens, Aviation Minister, Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda has said.

The move, he said, will also impudently tackle the disreputable practice of giving out free-tickets to government appointees, CEOs, politicians and persons in influential positions in society. This he said, counted as one of the reasons for the collapse of the previous Ghana Airways and its successor, the Ghana International Airlines.

Reason for floating shares

“One of the reasons for floating shares is to openly declare that the future national carrier is truly a national asset and that its success largely depends on every citizen. It is to enable everyone to own part of it. We don’t want people requesting for free-tickets which may afterward affect operations of the business,” Mr. Adda told the Goldstreet Business at an unveiling ceremony of domestic airline operator, Passion Air in Tamale.

Government is expected to hold 20 percent shares in the airline with the rest of it offered to Ghanaians on the stock exchange market.

Early last month, the Director- General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Simon Allotey told the Goldstreet Business that government has resolved to do away with the free-ticket system in order to strengthen operations of the imminent national carrier.

Progress of work

“We have concluded most of the procedures, and we have made significant progress from where we stand. We still hold true to the 2018 deadline to see a national airline which will fly the flag of Ghana,” the Minister said.

He explained that the success of ingenious oil marketing company, (OMC) GOIL, is largely due to its offered shares to the public, adding, “the aim of this government, is to give every citizen the opportunity to contribute to national development regardless to political affiliations.”

Update on regional airports

Giving an update on the development of regional airport infrastructures in the country, Mr. Adda said, the tarmac at Sunyani Airport will soon be rehabilitated to resume operations.

“The Ho Airport is complete as well as the Wa Airport, Upper East may have an airport to further deepen access to the North and perhaps to Burkina Faso,” he added.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe