Government keen on making Ghana aviation hub in West Africa —Minister

The A380 aircraft

The A380 aircraft

Emirates’ Airbus A380, one of the largest passenger airliners, made its maiden landing at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra on Tuesday as part of preparations to inaugurate the Terminal Three project of the Ghana Airports Company Limited.

The A380, a double-decked wide-body plane   which has the capacity to carry more than   515 passengers was captained by a Ghanaian Pilot, Captain Solomon Quainoo, an old student of Koforidua Secondary Technical School.

Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the A380 inaugural flight to Accra, the Minister of Aviation, Kofi Adda said the visit of the A380 to Ghana demonstrated the confidence Emirates had in the aviation industry in particular and the Ghanaian economy in general.

Among the dignitaries, which joined the welcoming ceremony for the historic visit of the A380 were the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta, Sam Okudzeto, a Member of Council of State and other top government officials.

Mr Adda noted that some carriers which left the country had started coming back and mentioned Air Namibia as an example.

He said the intention of government was to make Ghana the aviation hub in West Africa and the preferred destination of travelers across the globe, hence the expansion of the facilities at the Terminal Three of the Kotoka International Airport.

That, Mr Adda said would be achieved through continuous investment into the aviation industry through public-private-partnership.

The Minister said the visit of the A380 to Ghana would not only strengthen the bond between Ghana and the United Arab Emirates, but further cements the mutual relationship between the two countries.

Mr Adda hinted that a home-based carrier was being established to facilitate the movement of people across the country.

Emirates Senior Vice President in charge of Commercial Operations- Africa, Orhan Abbas said the visit of the A380 demonstrated Emirates’ commitment to Ghana.

He said the Ghanaian aviation market was a priority market to Emirates and the Accra route was important to the company.

Mr Abbas said Emirates had procured 105 A380 wide-body aircraft and plans were advanced to purchase more.

Quizzed whether one of the A380 Airbus plane   would ply the Accra route, the Senior Vice President responded in the negative.

John Attafuah, the Managing Director GACL said the arrival of the A380 marked a historic milestone in the annals of the Ghanaian aviation industry.

He said Kotoka Airport was ready and capable to accept any commercial jet with the completion of the Terminal Three project, which had the capacity to receive 5 million passengers a year.

By Kingsley Asare

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