Aviation Report: Ghana to get new national carrier in 2 years as Nigeria seek $315 million for its airliner

Since the collapse of Ghana’s national airline, Ghana International Airlines, in 2010, the government is looking forward to reviving the sector with a new airline in 2 years.

Ghana Minister for Aviation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah disclosed that the country is in a position to own a national carrier within a period of two years.

The Minister told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that; “Ghana is ripe to have its own carrier to start with ECOWAS sub region and move on to regional and take it from there. I will make sure we get a national carrier.”she said.

While noting that the national airline could have started operation in March 2015 , she promised to deliver this time on the said dates.

“I have sighted a document that can aid us have our own airline. I have talked to the Ministry, Ghana Airport Company as well as the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and feasibility studies have been done by the previous government. It was done by PricewaterhouseCoopers and I believe we will have a study of the findings and add up what we have received so far and take it from there.

She notes further that, government is committed to ensuring that a national airline takes off within the shortest possible time.

“I will cross my fingers, the consultant says two years and I said we should do it in a year if possible, so between 1 and 2 years that should be the period.”

Similarly in Nigeria, the newly acquired airliner Arik Air by the Nigeria Government due to a debt profile of over $953 million will cost the country $318 million to get it to operation.

According to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the acquired airliner has only 10 out of the 28 aircraft in its fleet good for operation.

The Capt. Roy Ilegbodu led management said in a statement on Sunday, “As if these problems are not enough, the airline does not have money to procure aviation fuel for the nine operational aircraft because no dealer wants to sell aviation fuel to Arik except it is on a cash-and- carry basis. This also calls for public understanding because flight schedules may be realigned based on the nine aircraft that are available and are technically sound and ready for flight operations.

“It was also discovered that Arik also owes its technical partners and is also in perpetual default in its lease payments and insurance premium, leading to regular and embarrassing squabbles with different business partners, which accounts for why 18 aircraft are off the fleet for different reasons.