Plans to set up, once again, a national carrier for the country are far advanced, as processes to operationalise it are in their final stages.
This was revealed by Ing. Charles Kraikue, Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, in an interview with the media following a stakeholder breakfast meeting with aviation sector players in Accra on Thursday.
An announcement by the Ministry of Transport should be expected before the end of 2022.
“We have assisted government in the process. What we have done is that the home-based carrier has been given the air-carrier licence by the GCAA. We are at the last stage of granting the air operator certificate, which is the last stage of our processes; and we hope that, very soon, the home-based carrier will be launched,” he said.
During its early period of operations, the carrier is expected to start with some West Africa routes to Lagos, Abuja, Senegal and Gambia, among others, as well as London and other European routes. However, the full list of operational routes will be realised once the final agreement with the strategic partner is signed.
Initial information on the deal suggested that the strategic partner will hold a 49 percent share while local individuals/corporate institutions get 41 percent, with government left holding 10 percent. Establishing the carrier has a potential to generate financial and economic benefits with multiplier effects on Ghana and the West African sub-region.
Talks about operationalising the home-based carrier started in 2018, when a deal was signed with Ethiopian Airlines as the strategic investor. However, this could have changed given the several delays in finalising a set-up of the home-based carrier.
Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA)
Ghana has so far signed more than 65 BASAs with countries across the world. This lays a good foundation for the yet-to-be unveilled carrier.
The BASA allows designated airlines of the two states to operate commercial flights covering transport of passengers and cargo between the two countries.
Over the years, government through the ministry has signed various aviation-related deals with Canada, Rwanda, Seychelles, Jamaica, Namibia and Guyana as it seeks to open more air routes and create opportunities for investment, trade and tourism.
The agreements with these countries will further position Ghana as the aviation hub of the West African sub-region as envisaged by government, as well as maximise the huge investment in on-ground aviation infrastructure.