Chattered economist, Mr. Emmanuel Amoah-Darkwah, has explained why the country is struggling to have a national airline after the collapse of the Ghana Airways after it took a dip following debts and legal disputes.
According to him, the only way Ghana can stand on its feet to operate an airline is to kick out political interferences in the operations as well as have a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to achieve a vibrant and indigenous airline.
His comment followed that of the then Minister-designate for Aviation, Cecilia Dapaah, who hinted two years ago that Ghana will own an airline while hoping that the nomination submitted to the Appointments Committee is approved.
Mr Amoah-Darkwah asked government to critically look at the viability of the airline to ensure accountability, transparency, and value for money.
Meanwhile, Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with airline manufacturing company, Boeing, to acquire three 787-9 Dreamliners. The aircraft with a list price value of $877.5 million, the Aviation Ministry revealed, will be used to relaunch the national airliner.
According to the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, the carrier would establish the capital city as a strategic hub that serves cities across West Africa. Future routes would include destinations in Europe, North America and Asia and the long-term plan is to open the airline to private investment and operation.
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Chattered economist, Mr. Emmanuel Amoah-Darkwah has argued that it will be prudent for Ghana to own a national carrier.
According to him, the aviation industry in Ghana and the sub-region is much ripped adding, passenger travel, cargo travel, those engaged in transit and the market is ’very ripped’.
He said it terms of infrastructure and infrastructure development ongoing indicates that Ghana could own a national carrier. He was however quick to add that, history of how Ghana Airways was managed and how the airline was run down cast doubt on the viability of the airline.
‘’Ghana Airways was not properly managed. But let us take a critical look at how state institutions are managed in this country. The undue political interference in the management of state institutions is inimical to their growth and success. So let’s discuss the issue broadly and kick against the political interference in the management of state institutions. I will call for a broader discussion on why we want to have a carrier, how it will be managed.’’
His comment follows Minister-designate for Aviation hint that Ghana will own a national airline by end of 2018. Madam Cecilia Dapaah the Minister-designate for Aviation appearing before the Appointments Committee indicated that Ghana will see a carrier flying the Ghanaian flag in a year should her nomination be approved.
Ghana she explained is ripe to have a carrier and further made reference to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers under the immediate Mahama led administration.
She said she has already engaged several agencies connected to aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ghana Airport Company as well as other stakeholders and she is convinced the feasibility studies by PricewaterhouseCoopers points to something positive.
“I’ve sighted documents that can aid us have our own airlines. I have talked to the Ghana Airports Company Limited, as well as Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. Feasibility studies have been done by the previous government and I believe we’ll have a study of the findings and add up what we have received so far and take it up from there.”
“I believe that Ghana is ready to have its own carrier. At least to start with the ECOWAs sub-region and move up to regional and then take it up from there.”
“The consultants said two years, and I said we should do it in a year if possible, so between one and two years, I think that should be the period.’’
Commenting further on the issue, Mr. Amoah Darkwah said a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will be the way to go should Ghana decide to run an airline.
He emphasized the need for government to look at the viability of the airline to ensure accountability, transparency and value for money.