Ghana will have its own branded airline carrier to facilitate travel of Ghanaians abroad and boost tourism, before the end of the year, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister-designate for Aviation, has said.
She said the move was also to give the nation a niche in the booming aviation industry across the sub-region, Africa and the rest of the world.
Madam Dapaah gave the assurance at yesterday’s vetting before the Appointments Committee of Parliament where she came under a barrage of questions to ascertain her readiness and preparedness for the ministerial job.
She said although a consultant working on the re-introduction of a carrier has given a two-year time-line for the implementation, the Ministry would work assiduously to reduce the time to a year.
Madam Dapaah said all the feasibility studies undertaken pointed to the fact that, Ghana was riped to enter into the sub-region aviation fray and beat competitors to it in order to make the global market a certainty.
She promised to address the dwindling fortunes of the domestic aviation industry with the removal of the 17 per cent VAT tax regime while reducing the aviation fuel prices to have a cascading effect on tickets cost.
She said the Ministry as a matter of urgency would also initiate a round-table discussion with the domestic operators to determine their areas of challenges.
Madam Dapaah said various projects currently on-going at the various airports to enhance service delivery would be supported by the current government to ensure completion.
She said the progress at the Wa airport was on schedule and it was envisaged that by the first quarter of the year, the whole project would be completed to accommodate light aircraft in that region.
Madam Dapaah said Tamale Airport would be designated as a maintenance hub for aircrafts in the sub-region with the possibility of it also serving as aviation fuel farm for other aircrafts.
By Lawrence Markwei