<![CDATA[GhanaFlights.info - Airline and Flight News Updates]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:40:31 -0100Weebly<![CDATA[Sale of construction materials at Kumasi airport, Manager accused]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:38:44 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/04/sale-of-construction-materials-at-kumasi-airport-manager-accused.html Source: mynewsgh. com - Heaps of sand meant for expansion works at the Kumasi airport are being carted and sold to private developers within the Kumasi Metropolis of the Ashanti region, mynewsgh.com investigations have uncovered.
Some aggrieved workers at airport are calling on the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to look into the operational activities of the regional manager of the facility Mr. Kwadwo Abrafa Sarkodie who they accused of being neck deep in the alleged shady deals.

The staff say the regional manager and head of security have been engaging in act of selling trip of sand meant for expansion works on the stalled runway project started by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

Mynewsgh.com inspected the stalled project site to ascertain claims by the workers and observed some changes that occurred with the visible heaps of sand nonexistent.

It was uncovered that the heaps of sand meant for fillings at the airport are usually conveyed in the night to locations of the private developers after prior arrangements in the day with each trip being sold for as much as GH¢700.

Armed with this information, our reporters posed as persons interested and met with [Kwame Moses] not real name one of the drivers and asked if it was possible to get five trips.

He confirmed that a double aisle load was GH¢700 but indicated that it could only be delivered in the night but when asked why, he claimed the airport manager directed that it is only under the cover of darkness will they be allowed to make deliveries.

“I am the only person who can speak to him if my money is ready”, he revealed.

When the Kumasi airport manager Mr. Kwadwo Abrafa Sarkodie was reached on phone to arrange an interview on the matter, he demanded to know the subject which was spelt clearly out to him.

He however demanded to know who the agitating workers and the driver believed to be the link man were but when told it was unethical to divulge the sources, he declined the interview.

“If you decline to name the sources I am also declining the interview because you have refused to obey me”, he stated.

The erstwhile government rehabilitated defective runway at the facility and installed airfield lights to help night operations and planned to expand it to assume international standard.

The first phase of the project was commissioned in 2003 at cost of $ 4.9 million with anticipation that second phase will be completed some months later.

Meanwhile the Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah announced to pay working visits to airports as government plans to make Kumasi and Tamale Airports international standards.

According to her, Aviation Ministry intend to revamp old airstrip to make air transport easier with introduction of a system called “air taxi” as fact finding exercise shows more people in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions travel by air.

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<![CDATA[Import duty on aircraft spare parts to be scrapped – GCAA]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:46:55 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/04/import-duty-on-aircraft-spare-parts-to-be-scrapped-gcaa.html Source: B&FT Ghana - The thebftonline.com has gathered that, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is working with government to eliminate import duty on aircraft parts and other ancillary aircraft equipment.

According to the GCAA, this when done it will come up to add to the government’s removal of VAT on domestic airline tickets which is expected to increase the patronage of domestic air travel in the country.
Speaking to the bftonline.com, Director-General of GCAA, Simon Allotey, said the move was part of efforts to make air travel within the country more affordable.

“The Civil Aviation Authority is also working collaboratively with the Ministry of Aviation in government to look at removing import duty on aircraft spares and duty on ancillary aircraft equipment, which when removed, it means there could be a reduction on aircraft fares which will lead to more people travelling by air.”

Mr. Allotey further noted that, high domestic air fares contributed largely to many people travelling by road, even though the airlines could not be blamed for the high cost of operation in our part of the world.

But with the removal of import duty on aircraft parts, ticket prices are expected to further fall after an up-coming meeting between the Aviation Minister, Ms. Cecilia Dapaah, and domestic airline operators to explain how airlines can also benefit from the removal of duty on imported parts—a major cost component for operators that has a bearing on the cost of airfares.

Mr. Eric Antwi, CEO, Starbow, told the B&FT in an earlier interview that: “The removal of the VAT will lead to a fall in airfares. When something is also done about the duty on spare parts, ticket prices will drop further.”

Passengers traveling by air between Accra and the four main domestic airports in the country--Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale and Takoradi-- are paying 17.5 percent less, with a further drop in airfares expected in the coming months.

Accra-Kumasi one-way ticket, for instance, has dropped from about GH¢320 to about GH¢265 as at Wednesday April 5, 2017 on both Starbow and Africa World Airlines (AWA).

The drop-in airfares follows the announcement by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, of the abolishing of the 17.5 percent VAT on domestic airfares in the 2017 budget passed by Parliament.

Parliament, passed the Value-Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017 following the recommendation of the Finance Committee.

Government is expected to take a GH¢21.11million hit in relation to the abolishing of the VAT on domestic air transport.

But the Committee noted that: “…The removal of VAT on domestic air transport is expected to lead to an expansion in the domestic airline industry leading to greater generation of employment in the sector and also encourage more people, especially, the middle and lower classes to patronize domestic air transport services.”

The consumption tax’s imposition in July 2015 led to a steady decline in domestic passenger throughput; as more passengers opted to travel by road to major capitals in the country.

Domestic passenger throughput declined from 55,000 in December 2014 to 44,000 in December 2015. Latest figures from the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) also show a further slump in domestic passenger throughput to 37,775.

The drop in passenger throughput has also meant less revenue for the airports operator--GACL—and the industry regulator, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.

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<![CDATA[Truncated Accra-bound Starbow flight wasn’t in danger – CEO]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:49:21 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/04/truncated-accra-bound-starbow-flight-wasnt-in-danger-ceo.html Source: todaygh. com - Management of indigenous airline, Starbow, has refuted claims that one of its Accra-bound domestic flight S9103 returned to Kumasi because it endangered the lives of its passengers.

A Starbow flight S9103 en-route to Accra from Kumasi, had to return to Kumasi last Sunday due to bad weather conditions in the capital, Accra.
The captain decided to return to Kumasi as a safety precautionary measure and all the passengers were disembarked safely without any incident and the flight was not in any danger at all,” a statement from the company noted.

Reports indicate that, the airplane was unable to land in Accra as scheduled because of a storm, and hovered in the air for over an hour before returning to Kumasi.

According to the report, some passengers on the flight suddenly entered into a tumultuous prayer session after they were informed about the development and a subsequent sharp downward pitching of the aircraft.

Meanwhile, Starbow the statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Starbow, Mr. Hames Eric Antwi, explained that, “due to the change in weather at the destination, the captain entered a holding pattern together with other aircraft that were also due to land in Accra, hoping for conditions to subside.”

“When conditions did not improve, the captain opted to fly back to Kumasi so they could return to Accra when the conditions were better. Due to this, the captain decided to return to Kumasi as a safety precautionary measure and all the passengers were disembarked safely without any incident and the flight was not in any danger at all.”

The statement added that, the sudden change in weather is consistent with the changing of the seasons and cannot certainly be anticipated.

The company further apologized to its passengers for the incident.

“Starbow apologizes to its cherished guests, especially those who were in its flight S9103 on Sunday April 9, 2017, for any inconvenience this incident might have caused,” the statement added.

The report also indicated that, a Member of Parliament as well as a member of the Council of State were all on-board the aircraft.

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<![CDATA[Starbow flight held in the air for one and half hours lands in Kumasi]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 09:41:07 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/04/starbow-flight-held-in-the-air-for-one-and-half-hours-lands-in-kumasi.html Source: ultimatefmonline. com - Passengers who boarded a Starbow flight from Kumasi en-route to Accra on Sunday afternoon were only lucky to be returned to the Kumasi Airport after an hour and half of veering off flight path.

The airplane was unable to land in Accra as scheduled because of bad weather resulting from Saturday’s heavy rains in the national capital Accra.
A clergyman whose voice is heard praying in recordings taken from the plane during the traumatic period Head pastor of Promise Land Rev Evans Kyereh Mensah narrated the incident on Ultimate FM’s Brunch and Lunch with Naa Klodey Odonkor.

“Around 3:30pm we were asked on board. But in the middle of the journey we heard an announcement from the pilot that we were to brace ourselves and put our seat belts on because there were storms coming. Everybody was quiet when announcement came again that the flight was diverting to the north east so people started agitating whether we were going to Tamale or what.“

“Then all of a sudden the plane had a sharp descent then people became apprehensive. I shouted Jesus while others begun crying and screaming my family! My children!.”

“I started praying and shouting and taking control over the atmosphere but still the thing kept defending and people were screaming. At that time all of us knew we were coming to the ground but I still held on to the prayer. Others who were also Christians started praying. A woman held on to my waist and another person held on to my legs and we were all praying.“

“For about one and half hours we were held up in the storms. Later the pilot came to tell us he lost control and someone explained to us that they took us through Lome, Aphlao area looking for navigation and a place to land.”

“It was a matter of life and death. I could see some of them had held unto the seat, some had bowed down their heads, others had brought their children under them, and some were covering their children. I saw some white guys who had also bowed down their heads. I saw another lady two seats away also praying in tongues and asking Lord help us Lord help us I join my faith with the pastor’s faith Lord help us.”

“I saw another lawyer by me also praying, others were quiet, somebody had just fallen asleep and all that but I was just praying.”

“The cabin crew looked frustrated while they sat still some with heads bowed and muttering words. Someway somehow the pilot came out of his cockpit and said that he had found a place to land and so we had to return to Kumasi. But still I was in prayer and I said I wouldn’t give a foot hold to the enemy till we have landed.”

“But by then others were talking, others were chatting others were like wow! Thank you Jesus but I was still in prayer.”

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<![CDATA[Domestic airfares fall]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:22:12 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/04/domestic-airfares-fall.html Passengers traveling by air between Accra and the four main domestic airports in the country--Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale and Takoradi-- are paying 17.5 percent less, with a further drop in airfares expected in the coming months.
Accra-Kumasi one-way ticket, for instance, has dropped from about GH¢320 to about GH¢265 as at Wednesday April 5, 2017 on both Starbow and Africa World Airlines (AWA).

Ticket prices are expected to further fall after an up-coming meeting between the Aviation Minister, Ms. Cecilia Dapaah, and domestic airline operators to explain how airlines can also benefit from the removal of duty on imported parts—a major cost component for operators that has a bearing on the cost of airfares.

Mr. Eric Antwi, CEO, Starbow, told the B&FT in an earlier interview that: “The removal of the VAT will lead to a fall in airfares. When something is also done about the duty on spare parts, ticket prices will drop further.”

The drop-in airfares follows the announcement by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, of the abolishing of the 17.5 percent VAT on domestic airfares in the 2017 budget passed by Parliament.

Parliament, Last Friday, passed the Value-Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017 following the recommendation of the Finance Committee.

Government is expected to take a GH¢21.11million hit in relation to the abolishing of the VAT on domestic air transport.

But the Committee noted that: “…The removal of VAT on domestic air transport is expected to lead to an expansion in the domestic airline industry leading to greater generation of employment in the sector and also encourage more people, especially, the middle and lower classes to patronize domestic air transport services.”

The consumption tax’s imposition in July 2015 led to a steady decline in domestic passenger throughput; as more passengers opted to travel by road to major capitals in the country.

Domestic passenger throughput declined from 55,000 in December 2014 to 44,000 in December 2015. Latest figures from the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) also show a further slump in domestic passenger throughput to 37,775.

The drop in passenger throughput has also meant less revenue for the airports operator--GACL—and the industry regulator, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority

Kumasi Airport Development

In a related development, the Aviation Minister, Ms. Dapaah, has paid a working visit to the Kumasi Airport to familiarize herself with on-going works at the busiest domestic airport in the country, Kizito CUDJOE reports.

She noted that it will require some ‘few inputs’ to fully automate the facility in line with international standards.

The Minister disclosed that there will soon be a permanent waiting room for passengers and other visitors to the Airport, as well as one for domestic passengers at the Kotoka International Airport, in Accra.

She observed that all the installations carried out in 2015 the Kumasi Airport, including the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), were functioning at their optimum capacity. 

She said it remains a key priority of government to open up the country to investors, tourists, and businesses. “We are hoping to shorten the time it takes to travel; with the development of a strong, affordable and competitive local domestic aviation sector,” she said.

The subject of encroachment of lands belonging to the Kumasi Airport, she explained that managers of the facility have put measures in place to get illegal occupants off GACL land.

She, however, failed to indicate whether the possible extension of the runway would affect some settlements close to the Airport.

The Aviation Minister also visited the Sunyani Airport to determine whether there will be the need to rehabilitate the runway among others.

The Minister was accompanied on the tour by the Managing Director of Ghana Airports, Mr. John Attafuah; Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah; and the Deputy Regional Minister, Elizabeth Agyemang; and the new KMA boss, Osei Assibey Antwi.

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<![CDATA[City Link initiates a comeback after 5 years of inactivity]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:20:21 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/04/city-link-initiates-a-comeback-after-5-years-of-inactivity.html Source: citifmonline. com - Local airline company, City Link, has initiated processes for a comeback at least within the short to medium term. This is the indication from the Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Simon Allotey. 
According to him, the airline company in February 2017 renewed its air carrier license after five years of inactivity. “City Link has recently renewed its air carrier license we are waiting a request from them for the commencement of their operations. I think they are re-organising and soon they will commence operations,” the DG boss stated. 

The air carrier license is among other things an indication of the economic and financial strength and capability to operate as an airline. The renewal of the license is expected to be followed by the company’s assets and operational strategy. City Link is among three local airlines that have suspended their operations for varied reasons. 

Simon Allotey could however not indicate the time period of resumption of activity. He explained to Citi Business News the activities involved require a relatively longer period which might not be determined by the Authority. “It depends on the airline itself because they will have to lease an aircraft and it is also tied to their finances. 

I cannot tell what their financial arrangements are. Once they are able to arrange for a few aircrafts they can commence operations.” “It is difficult to give a specific timeline that it will take CTK a month, two or three; it all depends on how they go about their arrangements and some of these contracts can be lengthy.” Meanwhile the GCAA is highly optimistic a comeback by City Link should intensify competition in the local aviation industry. 

Resumption of the three local airlines that went under has been rescheduled for quite a number of times. The three; Antrak Air, City Link, Fly540Gh all suspended their activities between 2012 and 2015 for varied reasons. Currently only two local airline companies are in operation. They are Africa World Airlines and Starbow Airlines.

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<![CDATA[Tax free domestic air tickets likely to start tomorrow]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 09:44:45 GMThttp://ghanaflights.info/1/post/2017/03/tax-free-domestic-air-tickets-likely-to-start-tomorrow.html Source: citibusinessnews. com - Patrons of local airlines are expected to from Saturday, 1st April 2017, enjoy 17.5 percent slash on air tickets they purchase with the passage of the Appropriation Bill by Parliament.

This is the indication from the Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
The Bill which is expected to be passed today (Friday), will give approval to the tax cut announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta during the budget presentation earlier this month.

“The tax cut is yet to take effect when the Appropriation Bill is passed so passengers should bear with us…It’s a process and very soon we will all feel the effect and be happy with that,” she remarked.

The 17.5 percent VAT on domestic air tickets was among the eight taxes scrapped by the NPP government to bring respite to businesses.

The Aviation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah also tells Citi Business News the ultimate reduction should grow the local airline industry.

“As it stands now, the domestic airlines are very grateful and happy as well. I think the climate is good for the domestic airlines,” she added.

Domestic airline companies have bemoaned the high cost of operation in Ghana.

Key among them are the high fuel cost and the taxes charged on tickets.

The NDC government reduced the cost of aviation fuel by 20 percent.

This has since been followed by the cut in the 17.5 percent VAT on air ticket fares by the governing NPP.

At present, the two airline companies operating in the country;Starbow Airlines and Africa World Airlines are expected to benefit from the tax cuts.

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<![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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