26
Wed, Sep

AVIATION MINISTER: GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH HOME-BASED CARRIER

Business & Economy

The out-going Minister for Aviation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is confident that Ghana would not only establish a national airline anytime soon, but beyond that, continue with the processes to establish a Home Based Carrier with private sector participation.

The out-going Minister for Aviation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is confident that Ghana would not only establish a national airline anytime soon, but beyond that, continue with the processes to establish a Home Based Carrier with private sector participation.

 

"Home Based Carrier means the airline would sleep in Ghana, do everything in Ghana like we have Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines is a home based carrier which is also a national airline. But, we have Africa World Airline (AWA) is a home based airline.

If we have these ones coming on board they would be home based airlines. But, the government must have little bit of interest to make sure it does not go under", the Minister said.

Madam Abena Dapaah pointed out that, with government's Home Based Carrier interest, if a strategic investor decides to pull out Ghana government would then have a basis to attract some other investments to come on board, so that Ghana would always have a Home Based Airline.

In this regard, the Minister stated that Cabinet has given approval for the Ministry to negotiate with Air Mauritius and Abu Dhabi Aviation, while continuing discussions with Ethiopian Airlines and other strategic investors to establish the Home-Based Carrier with Ghanaian participation.

She stressed that the Ministry would continue with the processes to establish a Home-Based Carrier with Private Sector participation, since that is the key priorities towards the achievement of Ghana as the aviation hub.

The out-going Minister for Aviation made the comments during her first "Meet The Press" encounter at the Information Ministry in Accra to bid farewell to the agencies under her ministry and to highlight some of the achievements, challenges and the way forward as far as the aviation sector is concerned.

"Imagine Ghana without Africa World. Imagine! Starbowl have had the accident. If it was the only airline, it would have meant that people couldn't do any air travel", Aviation Minister said.

She insisted that air travel is still the cheapest, the fastest and the safest and, therefore, government is interested in what goes on in the sector, adding that government is not going to pump money into any airline  unless it has an interest.

Touching on the relationship between Ghana and the British Airways following the bedbug brouhaha, Cecilia Dapaah revealed that, upon engagements and further correspondences, the British Carrier had assured Ghana that it had retrofitted their aircrafts that ply the Accra-London routes.

Asked whether British Airways had revamped their operations in Ghana, Cecilia Abena Dapaah said that revamping British Airway's operations is purely their prerogative and could not be forced on them on that score. She said, however, Ghanaians need choices, and must not be bound always to use one particular aircraft.

The Minister assured the nation that government has extensive plans to make sure that Ghanaians have alternative to the Accra-London routes, adding that, as part of measures by the Ministry in creating enabling environment for private sector participation in the development of aviation infrastructure and service delivery, Ghana would soon see new three airline operators namely; DAC Aviation, Baby Jet Airlines and Unity Air commence domestic operations in Ghana.

Again, she pointed out that the Ministry would facilitate the rehabilitation and construction of airports and airstrips in every Region to boost domestic air travels. Also, the Minister made it clear that  the ministry would build synergies between existing Private Aviation Institutions and Ghana Aviation Training Academy to train Aviation related personnel to provide jobs for the teeming youth.


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