<![CDATA[GhanaFlights.info - Airline and Flight News Updates]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:24:13 -0100Weebly<![CDATA[New Ghanaian airline acquires licence to stir up competition on America, London, Dubai routes]]>Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:44:32 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/12/new-ghanaian-airline-acquires-licence-to-stir-up-competition-on-america-london-dubai-routes.html Goldstar Air will allow three free bags of 23 kilos each on board per passenger.
Goldstar Air, a wholly owned Ghanaian company, has received an Air Carrier Certificate from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to operate scheduled and non-scheduled flights to 11 destinations across the world, including Baltimore in the United States of America and Gatwick in the United Kingdom.
The company, which is waiting for its Air Operators Certificate to enable it to start full operations by the second quarter of next year, is also expected to fly to nine destinations, which are Guangzhou, Dubai, Monrovia, Lagos, Abijan, Freetown, Dakar, Conakry and Banjul. It will be using the Boeing 767-300 ER for its long haul routes while the Boeing 737-300 ER will be used on the West Coast.

The Chief Executive Officer of Goldstar Air, Mr Eric Bannerman, told the Daily Graphic in an interview shortly after receiving the certificate that “when we start flying, we will be the third airline in Ghana to fly directly to the United States of America after Delta and South African Airways and the second to fly directly to the UK after British Airways”.

“What is even more refreshing for our fellow Ghanaian businessmen and women who travel to China and Dubai is that we will be the first to fly directly from Accra to Guangzhou in China and the second to fly directly to Dubai,” he added.

Mr Bannerman described the feat chalked up by the company as most refreshing and unique and even promised that the management would ensure that flights were on time.

The entry of Goldstar into the already competitive aviation market, particularly on the American and London routes, is expected to stir up the industry to bring more benefits to travellers in terms of services and fares.

Luggage

Mr Bannerman said “after studying the market over the year, we have realised that Ghanaians travel heavy and therefore we have made adequate provisions to cater for their needs”.

He said the company, in its quest to meet the flying needs of Ghanaians, will allow three bags of 23 kilos each on board per passenger unlike the industry’s allowance of only two bags.

“The three bags will be without the hand luggage and that, as I said, is being done to enable Ghanaians have the opportunity to travel heavy at no extra cost”, he said.

Cabin crew

Mr Bannerman said the cabin crew would be purely locals.

“We will not have any foreigner on board because we have many qualified cabin crew in Ghana and they will be used”, he said “adding that they will also be trained to sell Ghana wherever their destinations are”.

Mr Bannerman said while on board, Ghanaian dishes would be served and local movies would be shown as a way of showcasing the Ghanaian culture to the rest of the world.

Present to grace the occasion were Mr Paul Kontoh, Director, General Services, Mr Daniel Acquah, and Director, Safety, all from the GCAA. Others were Mr Charles Nettey, Airport Manager, Mr Theophilus Eze, Director of Communications, Goldstar Air and Mr George Lartey, Goldstar Representative in London. Source: Daily Graphic Ghana

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<![CDATA[NDC government of Ghana suspends plans to get a new national airline]]>Fri, 16 Dec 2016 19:50:15 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/12/ndc-government-of-ghana-suspends-plans-to-get-a-new-national-airline.html NDC lost vs NPP, in the last General Elections 2016, December 7.
Ghana has suspended plans to get a partner for the new national airline. This is because the work of the approval committee in the Public Private Partnership process has stalled following the election of a new government.

The halt in operations of the committee will continue until the incoming NPP administration concludes appointments to key ministries, departments and agencies and subsequently form a new approval committee.
The Committee is expected to approve the Request for the proposal from the ten shortlisted airlines. 

Transport Minister, Fiifi Kwetey had earlier stated that the process should be completed in October this year. It is however unclear when the new committee will be formed. 

The new national airline has become imperative following the collapse of the Ghana International Airlines in 2010. The Ghana International Airlines was established in 2004 with 70 percent shares held by the government and 30 percent held by a US consortium GIA-USA.

National airline necessary The quest to revive the operations of a new national airline has been viewed by some observers in the aviation industry as an indispensable component of attaining the objective of becoming an aviation hub in the sub-region. 

According to the Country Manager for Air France KLM, Dick Van Niewwenhuyzen, the increased infrastructure will build confidence in Ghana’s aviation industry.

“I see new departure terminals being built; also Ghana recently launched its new cargo centre and I believe the country is undertaking these infrastructure because it sees growth, opportunities to expand the business. 

I think the market will remain same but the cake will be shared differently among participants in the industry,” he remarked.

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<![CDATA[Will the new national airline fly?]]>Thu, 15 Dec 2016 02:17:55 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/12/will-the-new-national-airline-fly.html The proposed establishment of a new national airline, after the demise of Ghana Airways and its successor, Ghana International Airlines, has been in the works for about two years.

The process has seen the appointment of a transactional advisor in PwC, the publication of expression of interest, and the start of processes to duly license the proposed airline.
Various timelines were given but yet to be met which begs the question, will the proposed airline fly and when?
Government has indicated that it is seeking only a carried interest in the new airline while any selected strategic partner will have to invest in the new enterprise.

The new airline is also expected to be purely commercial than a Public Private Partnership (PPP), evident by restriction of access to the World Bank’s US$30million PPP programme facility.

Twumasi Ankrah Selby, Chief Director of the Transport Ministry, which is responsible for setting up the new flag-carrier noted that: “The World Bank felt that following from the pre-feasibility, it was more of a commercial venture than a PPP arrangement. So their thinking at the time was that at this stage the Ministry can go ahead with its commercial arrangement. This is because they try to support PPP arrangements -- but the way the study came out and the approach, it is more commercial than on a PPP basis.”

The Expression of Interest (EOI) published in local newspapers this year said: “The feasibility studies [for the establishment of a new national carrier] also demonstrated the new national airline will require partnership with an experienced strategic airline partner that has a global distribution network to adequately take advantage of opportunities in the market place”.

The partner, the EOI notes, ought to have good financial strength; technical strength in areas of IT systems and flight operations; maintenance yield and capacity management; good distribution network; and be a member of a global alliance.

The approach in this new enterprise has been questioned by aviation analyst who say the industry is capital intensive and if government really believes in its success, it ought to fund it.

“The EOI published was very scanty and didn’t really give details about what government is looking for”, an aviation source told the B&FT.

Edmund Yomi Jones, aviation specialist and a former MD of Nigeria Airways, told the B&FT that: “The era of state-run airline is not gone. A developing nation is a developing nations. Where is the money? To generate business, governments must put money in the aviation industry. Look at the successful ones, they are owned by their governments. Gov’t should put money as the owner, and let it be run by professionals. Anything else, I am sorry.”

Responding to the approach by Ghana in establishing a new national airlines, he said: “That means they don’t believe in it. If you believe in it, you should put money in there. The key issue is that our governments must be seen to be very straight. Put the money there and don’t touch it. Africa is the future.

Take everything to the stock exchange 100 percent government-owned. After sometime, you can sell 20, later you sell another 20. The moment you do that, the big foreign airline will come and partner with you; they will buy the share.”

For decades, Ghana Airways was the national airline with the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as its hub. However, the airline -- ridden with debt, ceased operations in 2004. Attempts were made to revive its fortunes but to no avail, and in June 2005 the airline was liquidated.

Government with the support of private investors then established Ghana International Airlines (GIA). The airline faced difficulties and eventually suspended its operations in May 2010. Some loose ends in the liquidation process are still being tightened.

At the ripe age of 59years--at the threshold of retirement-- the country is without a flag carrier. Successful airlines on the continent include Addis-Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines. Though owned by the State, there is no interference by government and all government appointees pay for their travel on the airline.

Timelines have been given by the government about the establishment and operation of a new national carrier by year-end. But given the dynamics involved, we can only wait and see if the proposed airline will fly.

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<![CDATA[Mahama cut sod for phase 2 of Ho Airport]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:33:43 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/12/mahama-cut-sod-for-phase-2-of-ho-airport.html President John Dramani Mahama, December 2, cut sod for the commencement of the phase two of the Ho Airport project.

The president in September 2014 broke the ground for the 25-million-dollar Ho aerodrome project funded by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).
Features of the 1,500 acre land airport would comprise of 1,900 metres runway, air traffic control tower, 1,150 capacity passenger waiting area, ultramodern air bus terminal and automatic fire detection systems.

The project is being executed by Amandi Holding Limited.

Meanwhile, the President will later inaugurate the Volo community Day SHS in North Tongu and also address Chiefs and the people of South Tongu in the Volta region.

He’s expected to round up the day’s activities with rally at Ashaiman in Accra.

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<![CDATA[Wa Airport ready for operations]]>Mon, 14 Nov 2016 23:47:27 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/11/wa-airport-ready-for-operations.html President John Dramani Mahama is set to inaugurate the Wa Airport in the Upper West Region for the start of commercial operation by end of this month, B&FT sources have revealed.

The airport has undergone extensive renovation including the construction of a suitable terminal building, construction of a new runway, and fencing of the facility to make it suitable and safe for commercial operations.
The Wa airstrip, which was decades ago used for domestic services, had remained unsuitable for domestic flights over a long period now.

Domestic airline operators cited the poor runway, lack of an adequate terminal building and other ancillary facilities for their inability to operate flights from Accra to the Upper West regional capital.

A significant number of the travelling passengers to Tamale do so for onward connections by road to the Upper East and Upper West Regions and Burkina Faso.

The regional capital, Wa, is home to some 224,000 people -- most of whom work with non-governmental organisations operating in the region, and are students of the Wa campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS).

There is a lot of inter-trading activities between the country and its northern neighbour, Burkina Faso. The land-locked country relies on Ghana and other West African countries for its maritime imports, which are carted by land through the Upper West and Upper East Regions to the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou.

Growing passenger throughput, increasing number of French-speaking West Africans in Ghana, and the relatively peaceful nature of the country are some of the major lures for airlines in the region.

The domestic transit passenger volumes increased from 14,000 in July 2015 to over 22, 000 in July this year. International passenger throughput also hit 1.6million this year.

With the Ho airport also expected to be operational this year, there is now a growing concern in some quarters about the ability of the only two remaining domestic operators to service all destinations locally.

Starbow currently operate flight between Accra and Tamale, Sunyani, Kumasi and Takoradi; while Africa World Airlines (AWA) operates flights from the domestic terminal of KIA, Accra to Tamale and Kumasi. AWA also started servicing the Accra-Takoradi route today.
* Source: B&FT Ghana

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<![CDATA[Parliamentary Committee approves $180m airport tax waiver]]>Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:55:02 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/11/parliamentary-committee-approves-180m-airport-tax-waiver.html Source: B&FT Ghana - The Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance has recommended for the approval of the House a proposed US$185million direct and indirect tax waiver for contractors working on various airport projects in the country.

The Committee, in its report seen by the B&FT, recommended for the House to "approve a waiver of US$185million for a period of five years for the Ghana Airports Company Limited."
"The Committee having carefully examined the referral is of the view that the approval of the request is necessary to improve GACL’s ability to develop the required infrastructure for the country’s airports. Additionally, the request is necessary to allow GACL pay for loans already contracted for infrastructural works at various airports across the country," the report said.

Construction companies, M/S Mapa Insaat Ve Ticaret (Contractor), M/S Constutora Queiroz Galvao S.A(acting through its branch, Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A Sucursal Gana), PW Ghana (Mourne Ghana) Amandi Holding Company Limited, Amalgamated Designs and Bans Consults among others who have project agreement with the GACL, are expected to benefit from the proposed tax waiver when approved by Parliament.

The GACL secured a loan of US$250 million to undertake the construction of a new terminal known as Terminal 3, at the Kotoka International Airport from a consortium of banks led by Ecobank Capital.

The company later also secured another US$150 million in funds on the strength of its own balance sheet to fund the Ho Airport project, as well as the rehabilitation of Kumasi Airport. Part of the said amount is also being expended on rehabilitation of the Sunyani and Wa Airports.

The repayment projections for the loans were made on the assumption that GACL will not pay tax for the duration of the facility.

The Committee, therefore, held that there was the need to exempt GACL from payment of all applicable taxes to free resources for the repayment of the loan.

Management of GACL, following the promulgation of the Airport Tax Amendment Act in 2013 which allows the GACL to retain 100 percent of its revenues, turned to private capital to improve aviation infrastructure in the country.

Prior to amendment of the Act, 60 percent of all airport taxes went directly to the Ghana Revenue Authority to support the national budget while GACL retained just 40 percent.

Growing passenger throughput, increasing number of French-speaking West Africans in Ghana, and the relatively peaceful nature of the country are some of the major lures for airlines in the region.

The domestic transit passenger volumes increased from 14,000 in July 2015 to over 22, 000 in July this year. International passenger throughput also hit 1.6million this year.
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<![CDATA[African governments urged to commercialise airports]]>Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:52:42 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/11/african-governments-urged-to-commercialise-airports.html Source: Ghana Chronicle - Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun, Former Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FANN), has called for the commercialisation of airports in Africa to support the Aviation industry.

He said until countries see this as a commercial entity, the growth of the industry would remain stunting.
Mr. Aisuebeogun was speaking at the 12th Edition of Akwaaba African Market Tourism Conference, on the topic: “State of Aviation in Africa and Why Airlines Fail,” in Lagos, Nigeria.

The three-day event was aimed at transferring knowledge covering travel, hospitality and aviation sectors from globally rated experts.

He said African Airports had evolved overtime from the use of old archaic state of infrastructure to a much more modern state of the art buildings and structures.
He said the performance of the African aviation industry was lagging behind those of the rest of the world, at less than three per cent of global revenue passenger kilometres.

He said the growth was heavily constrained by the high industry costs, inadequate infrastructure at a number of airports, slow implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, lack of a single traffic rights negotiating body with respect to third parties like the EU.

He said, nonetheless, demand for air transport has increased steadily over the past years with passenger numbers and freight traffic growing significantly.

Over the period from 2010 to 2015, Africa has become one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, in terms of international traffic, with an average growth rate of 6.1 per cent, compared to the global average of 5.8 per cent.

However, African aviation needs to grow at double-digit rates to be a significant player in the global industry.

He noted that many Airlines had failed or were barely surviving in Africa due to many factors such as Management Business Plan, Safety Regulation, Economic Regulation, Low-cost Airlines, Multi-Hub Strategy, Service Excellence, which he grouped as internal.

Others are external, namely: Cost of operating environment, Economic Diversification, Political Environment, improved airport infrastructure, Airports supports, Improved Air navigation infrastructure and unfair competition.

“The economic benefits of airlines are enormous and increasing, because airlines are not just part of the economy but a key economic catalyst recognised as vital to the growth and achievement of National, Regional and Global economic goals,” he said.
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<![CDATA[Air ticket sales to hit US$200 million]]>Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:50:50 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/11/air-ticket-sales-to-hit-us200-million.html Source: B&FT Ghana - Ticket sales through the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) in Ghana could hit US$200 million by year end, which points to the prospects of the aviation market, drawing more airlines into the country.
The BSP system is designed to facilitate and simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents.

Dick van Nieuwenhuyzen, Country Manager of Air France-KLM, told the B&FT at a press conference in Accra that: "If you look at the market, the BSP in 2014 was US$33million; US$73million in 2015; about US$177million by September 2016.

"This increase is purely the amount of money spent in this market. If you make an estimate, it will be around US$200million by December 2016. I think there is enough potential to add the daily KLM flights to the three Air France flights."

Air France is the latest to announce plans to operate three weekly flights between Accra, Ghana and Paris–Charles de Gaulle, France starting on February 28, 2017. The flights will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

These flights will be operated by an Airbus A330 with a capacity of 208 seats until March 27, 2017 and then by a Boeing 777-200 with 312 seats and equipped with the latest new Air France travel cabins for the entire summer season.

Jean-Raoul Tauzin, Air France’s Nigeria Manager, noted that the three weekly flights will strengthen Air France’s presence in Africa as well as the Air-France-KLM Group’s presence, as KLM flies daily from Amsterdam to Accra.

He said: "With Air France new service, we will provide customers with even more connecting opportunities at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, both to and from Europe and North America."

International passenger throughput has increased over the past few years. General international passenger departures increased by about six percent; from about 72,000 in July 2015 to about 76,000 in July 2016.

The transit passenger volumes increased from 14,000 in July 2015 to over 22, 000 in July this year.

Currently, Africa remains the continent with the largest number of French speakers. The International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) estimate that there are 96.2 million French-speakers in Africa.

About 13 countries in Africa have French as the language of instruction at the pre-tertiary level while other countries have French or bilingual studies at the tertiary level of Education.

Another incentive for the growing number of airlines in the country, in recent times, is the reduction in the price of aviation fuel. The price of the commodity was reduced from about US$3.14 per gallon to about US$2.33 per gallon in August.

Prior to the reduction in the price of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), otherwise known as aviation fuel, the price in Ghana was the highest in the sub-region.?

Economic challenges in West Africa’s largest economy Nigeria, has only served to benefit Ghana. For instance, more airlines are now lifting fuel in Ghana

Air France is not only targeting Francophones but also all passengers from Accra connecting flights to the UK, USA and other parts of the globe.

Together with its partner Kenya Airways, the airline flies to 46 destinations in Africa and hundreds of other destinations worldwide via Paris or Amsterdam.
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<![CDATA[GACL seeks private capital for Airport City II]]>Thu, 03 Nov 2016 20:04:18 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/11/gacl-seeks-private-capital-for-airport-city-ii.html Source: B&FT Ghana - The Ghana Airports Company Limited is seeking private capital to execute its Airport City II project, designed to enhance facilities at airport enclave and improve its non-aeronautical revenue.

The Airport City II project, to be sited on the southern side of the Kotoka International Airport, close to the Accra Polo Grounds, will consist of a mixed-use development of hotels, offices, multi-storey car park, and shops, among others.
Managing Director of the GACL, Charles Asare, told the B&FT that: “It is basically going to be real estate type of development. We are going to look for people who will partner us to bring in certain types of investment and services that are related to the airport space. We can talk of offices, hotels, car parks, and certain types of high-value low-weight manufacturing.

We have planned the place and a team will be put in place inviting private sector people who are interested in the project. Our intension in the partnership will be to contribute our land as our equity, and get partners who have appropriate technology, management, and capital to do it.”

The airports operator, following its recent closure of about US$400million loan facility on the back of its own balance sheet for its Terminal 3 and other projects, hopes the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach will help get the Airport City II project off the ground.

GACL secured a loan of US$250million from a consortium of banks led by Ecobank Capital to undertake the construction of a new terminal to be known as Terminal 3, at the Kotoka International Airport in August 2015.

The loan has a tenor of seven (7) years with a grace period of two years and interest rate of Libor plus a margin of 8 p.a.

The company also secured another US$150million facility from ABSA for the construction of the proposed Ho and WA airports. This facility has a tenor of 15 years, with a grace period of five years, and interest of Libor plus a margin of 5.5 per annum.

“Because of our existing credit facilities, we are very leveraged so the private sector partnership is the way to go. It may be PPP, or JVs,” Mr. Asare said on the sidelines of GACL’s Annual General Meeting held in Accra.

The success of the Airport City I project, is expected to stimulate private interest in the proposed Airport City II project.

The Airport City I project, which is now home to major architectural master pieces, is one of the most sought-after business districts in the capital. It is, indeed, a reflection of the quantum of foreign investment in Ghana’s real estate sector.

The Holiday Inn Hotel, SSNIT Emporium, the Marina Mall, Ibis Style Hotel, the Hilton Hotel, the National Communications Authority (NCA) building, Vodafone and UT towers, Silver Star Towers and the One Airport Square, and Nester Square, among others, are some of the major developments in the Airport City One enclave.

2015 financial performance

The company recorded a 4.3 percent decrease in its profit after tax, down from GHcedis184.9million in 2014 to GHcedis176.6million in 2015. 

The reduction in profit was attributed to a drop-in aircraft movement and passenger throughput for the 2015 financial year.

The decrease in aircraft movement resulted from Egypt Air’s suspension of its Tuesday and Sunday flights and withdrawal of flight services between Accra and Abidjan; the temporal suspension of Asky Airlines’ Accra-Freetown service, and British Airways’ morning flights between Accra and London.

Passenger throughput also decreased by 8.1 percent; from about 2.4million in 2014 to about 2.2million in 2015. 

Board Chairman, Tony Lithur, attributed the dip in passenger throughput to the imposition of a 17.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic airfare in 2015.

Mr. Lithur noted that board is speaking to the relevant authorities regarding the VAT issue, and that effforts are also underway to encourage private sector participation in domestic tourism to increase the current passenger numbers.
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<![CDATA[Cronos Airlines begins flights between Accra and Malabo]]>Sun, 30 Oct 2016 20:06:54 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2016/10/cronos-airlines-begins-flights-between-accra-and-malabo.html Source: GNA - Cronos Airlines, an Equatorial Guinean airline, has begun commercial flights to Accra, with the aim of facilitating movement between the two countries and across West Africa.
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The airline will operate two flights a week between Accra and Malabu on Mondays and Fridays and provide easy access to Sao Tome and Duala.

Mrs Abena Agyeman-Rebollar, Business Development Manager of Cronos, said there was a traffic on the route as many oil and gas employees travel between Malabu to Ghana but currently what exists is a weekly flight between the two countries.
This difficulty of moving between the two countries, she explained, prompted the decision by Cronos to start the flights.
She said the airline was open to expansion by introducing bigger planes if the market required it, adding that the airline will fly to other destinations in the sub-region including Cotonou, Port Harcourt Nigeria, Niamey, Duala and Johannesburg.

Mr Jesus Mba Belba Abaha, Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to Ghana, congratulated Cronos for initiating the flights, saying that the start of commercial flights between the two countries will help to further strengthen the relationship between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.                                                              

The first flight, arrived in Accra on Friday morning and was met by the Ambassador and officials of the Ghana Airports Company Limited.

Mr George Kaiafas, Chief Operating Officer of Cronos, said the route will help to boost tourism between the two countries.

He said in line with the airline’s slogan, it was committed to ‘linking lives across Africa’ by bring families together.
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