On Tuesday October 2, Ghanaian flight Captain Solomon Quainoo successfully landed a historic one-off Emirates A380 aircraft at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Accra.
Capt. Quainoo, who becomes the first Ghanaian pilot to successfully make the inaugural landing in an exclusive interview with Goldstreet Business said he was thrilled to embark on the historic landing as it was a proud moment for him and his family.
Education and career
When asked about his career as a pilot, he said; ‘’I have been with Emirates for just over 7 years. I started training to be a commercial pilot in 2001, so I have been a pilot for 17 years,’’ the flight Captain revealed.
According to him, he trained as a pilot at the Oxford Aviation Training school, United Kingdom and was adjudged one of the best students of his year group, adding, he was also selected to be part of an organising team for open days and seminars for aspiring pilots every weekend.
‘’I was born in Ghana, and used to travel to the UK every year during the summer vacation to visit family but finally relocated in 1994,’’ he added.
Capt. Quainoo revealed he is an alumni of the Koforidua Secondary Technical School (KSTS) in the Eastern Region adding, and was really humbled to make his family, teachers and former colleagues of the school proud.
‘’There has been so much excitement for the A380 to touch down at Kotoka International Airport. It is a positive moment and can become an aspiration to the youth to work harder to achieve their dreams, I already know of friends who were scrambling to buy tickets to be part of this historic moment,’’ he said.
Experience with the A380 aircraft
Explaining his experience on the Emirates A380 aircraft, Capt. Quainoo said ‘’it turns heads everywhere we fly to and its configuration includes private suites, shower spas and lounge which includes a bar – taking air travel to different heights’’
‘’When boarding I can see the excitement and awe on the faces of passengers. When the A380 takes off and you see the majesty of such a huge aircraft with over (5,900 sq foot) working space lifts off, it’s just incredible. I could just go on and on about why I love the A380,’’he eulogized.
‘’I love everything about the A380 and feel privileged to call the aircraft my office. It is the world’s largest passenger aircraft and can carry more than 800 passengers. It’s a highly advanced aircraft and gives high levels of protection. It’s got augmenting devices that ensures a flight is very smooth. It can also handle turbulence better than most if not all existing passenger aircrafts and the flight deck is very spacious and comfortable.’’ he concluded.
The delegation at the inaugural ceremony
The A380 flight, operating as EK 787, was joined by a top-level delegation led by Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – Africa; Ahmed Ramadan, Ambassador of Ghana to the UAE; Simon Atieku, Vice Council of Ghana (Dubai & N.E) – Consulate General of Ghana; Akwasi Abayie Adomako – Minister – Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission Ghana, Hesham Abdulla Qassim Al Qassim – CEO – Wasl Group & Vice Chairman – ENBD, Vinay Malhotra – Chief Operating Officer, VFS, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Hamad Ibrahim Abdalla Al Maazmi – Dept. of Naturalisation & Residency Dubai, Majed Sultan Murad Ali Al Joker – Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs, Dubai Airports.
Government officials from Ghana and members of the aviation industry were also present at the ceremony.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah