ACCRA, Ghana – Ghana’s Transport Ministry has justified government’s decision to establish a new airline in Ghana despite criticisms from some Ghanaians.
Chief Director of the Ministry Twumasi Ankrah Selby, says the initiative is part of government’s policy to make Ghana an aviation hub.
Government is inviting prospective airline strategic partners to submit an expression of interest to establish the new airline.
This has been met with stiff opposition from players in the aviation industry as well as the founder and CEO of policy think tank IMANI.
Referring to an earlier study conducted by IMANI on this issue, Franklin Cudjoe questioned the profitability of such a venture.
“What’s the point…what is this national airline craze about…is it that the prices will be reduced or we have better pilots or we can eat fufu and pounded yam on the plane? I don’t even get it. Most airlines are now doing code sharing because they are looking at the profitability of the routes…”
“They better forget about this airline business and support the local businesses that are in the airline industry…support them, let them thrive regionally,” he added.
Mr Cudjoe was speaking to Joy News during the 2016 edition of the Students Young Professionals African Liberty Academy.
But, Chief Director of the Ministry of Transport, Twumasi Ankrah Selby disagrees with Franklin Cudjoe.
He says the need to get a national airline is in line with government’s vision to make Ghana an aviation hub in the sub-region.
“We are pursuing a policy of creating KIA as a hub within the West African Sub region and to be able to develop a hub, you need a credible and reliable airline which will be able to support the hub just like in Dubai.”
Mr Twumasi Ankrah urged IMANI to provide the basis for which they believe the new airline will not be viable but “we are going through a process and we have the transaction advisers who have done the feasibility study, come out with a report and are going ahead with the project.”
Meanwhile, the Director for Safety Regulation at Ghana Civil Aviation Daniel Acquah wants less government interference in the running of the new airline.