September 28, 2019: Home-based carrier of Ghana, likely to be called as Akwaaba Airlines will soon begin operations, declared Ghana's aviation minister Joseph Kofi Adda at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) 40th Triennial Assembly in Montreal, Canada.

The government of Ghana and the private sector would hold a majority stake of 51 percent in the proposed airline while Ethiopian Airlines would hold the balance. In May this year, Ghana has entered into a strategic partnership with Ethiopian Airlines to realise the dream of getting a national carrier following the demise of Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines in the 2000s.

Adda said, "The uptake in these projects is in line with government's vision towards repositioning Ghana as a major aviation hub in Africa. The establishment of a home-based carrier to ensure that Ghana remains on the global aviation map is currently being pursued through a strategic partnership arrangement with an established airline which should be operational soon."

He also updated the assembly on the crucial importance of the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) to continent-wide efforts to enhance air connectivity and the sustainable development of air transport, stressing how the historic implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would create a tariff-free continent in support of local business growth, intra-African trade, accelerated industrialisation, and job creation.

While acknowledging this remarkable progress, he reminded his audience that at a time that ICAO recognises that Africa presents the highest potential for growth out of all of the UN aviation agency's global regions, air connectivity in the continent should not be so poor that people travelling to parts of Africa have to fly into Europe to be able to connect flights into their final destinations back in Africa.

"By the year 2022, when the next ICAO Assembly will have taken place, anyone flying from anywhere in Africa to everywhere in Africa, should be able to do so within Africa in less than 24 hours, without leaving the African airspace," he observed.

The first of the UN agency's award, known as the ICAO Council President Certificate in Aviation Security, was in recognition of Ghana's progress in resolving aviation security and oversight deficiencies, and the country's commitment to the effective implementation (EI) of its Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS). The second award, the ICAO Council President Certificate in Aviation Safety, was in recognition of strides Ghana made in 2018 towards the resolution of safety oversight deficiencies and improvement in the EI of related ICAO SARPs.

In April this year, Ghana obtained an effective implementation (EI) rate of 89.89 percent, the highest by an African country, following ICAO's conclusion of its Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) in Accra.

Read Full Article