Ghanaian flight Captain Solomon Quainoo has successfully landed a historic one-off Emirates A380 aircraft at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Accra, on Tuesday October 2.
Captain Quainoo, becomes the first Ghanaian pilot to successfully make the inaugural landing with United Arab Emirates (UAE) national First Officer, Faisal Alhammadi as his co-pilot.
The Ghanaian pilot was thronged by friends, family and government officials as he was welcomed upon landing.
The airline’s flagship double-decker now becomes the first-ever scheduled A380 service to Ghana, demonstrating the KIA’s readiness to accommodate the Emirates A380.
Upon landing at Terminal 3 of the KIA, the aircraft carrying the Emirates delegation and cabin crew, was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute, and welcomed by government officials and airport executives.
A guided tour of the A380 by Emirates cabin crew was then granted to government officials, dignitaries, media and officials of the aviation industry.
Its upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage and it is narrower than the lower deck but remains comparable to the width of any other wide-body aircraft.
Its cabin has a 550 square metres (5,920 sq ft) of usable floor space, 40 percent more than the next largest airliner, the Boeing 747-8, and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in an all-economy class configuration.
Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa speaking at the ceremony said; “We are honoured to bring our flagship A380 to the impressive new terminal at Kotoka International Airport, as it demonstrates its full capabilities with the handling of the first A380 aircraft.
Mr Abbas said Accra is an important destination in Africa and Emirates remains committed to providing customers in Ghana with the world class services.
He added, the Emirates A380 has been at the centre of innovation, and bringing the aircraft to Accra is a significant milestone to its operations to Ghana, where it will soon celebrate 15 successful years.
He thanked the Ghanaian government, the Ministry of Aviation, Ghana Airports Company Limited and other institutions whose support has been instrumental in making the one-off service a success.
Aviation Minister, Kofi Adda reiterated government’s commitment to making Ghana the aviation hub for West Africa and thanked the UAE and Emirates for considering Ghana as it made the historic landing.
The Director-General of Ghana Airports Company Limited, John Attafuah maintained that all systems at the Terminal 3 have functioned well as expected and called on the UAE to look further to investing in Ghana’s aviation industry.
Delegation at the inaugural landing
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.
Present at the ceremony were Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, Deputy Aviation Minister, Kwabena Darko Mensah and Minister for Sanitation, Cecilia Abena Dappah.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah