Private investors keen to invest in domestic airlines

Mr. Kuuchi (second from left) interacting with the Minister, Ms. Dapaah (middle) with others looking on.

Mr. Kuuchi (second from left) interacting with the Minister, Ms. Dapaah (middle) with others looking on.

Ghana’s quest to be become an aviation hub in West Africa has received a major boost as some private investors have submitted proposals to establish 10 domestic airlines.

The Minister of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, who disclosed this in Accra yesterday at a workshop to mark this year’s International Air Transport Association Day, declined to give the names of the investors but hinted that they were both local and private organisations.

“Beside the national carrier, which has also attracted much interest of some private investors, we hope to increase the number of domestic carriers and we are already perusing 10 proposals submitted to the ministry,” she said.

Ms Dapaah made this disclosure in an interview with the media at the sidelines of the workshop held on the theme “Aviation: catalyst for socio-economic development in Ghana.”

 

The day was institutionalised by the association some decades ago to discuss ways of supporting some countries to address significant challenges and explore opportunities on how the industry can work together to allow aviation to be an engine of economic growth and social development.

This year’s event brought together government officials, private sector operators, aviation industry leaders, decision makers and other key stakeholders in the air transport industry in the sub region to find ways of supporting tourism growth and boosting air commerce in Ghana through the IATA E-Freight programme.

Ms Dapaah said the theme of the event was very appropriate considering the pivotal role air transport played in promoting socio-economic development in countries across the world.

According to her, government considered the development of the aviation sector as a priority area and therefore a lot of investment had been harnessed and injected into massive infrastructural development.

She said one of such flagship infrastructure was the construction of Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport and the expansion of the various airports in the regional capitals across the country.

“Government has also taken the bold step in its first budget to abolish the 17.5 per cent tax on domestic airfares to encourage more patronage by the travelling public and also reduce the cost of operations,” she said.

Ms Dapaah also hinted that the long-term goal of government is to establish an aerotropolis at Ningo-Prampram that will have the capacity to absorb the expansion of the industry.

In this direction, she said, a large tract of land has been acquired by government in the Ningo Prampram District for the development of an ultra modern airport and ancillary services for the sub region.

 

The Vice President of IATA, Africa, Raphael Kuuchi, making reference to some available statistics, said a total number of 3.8 billion of international air passengers were recorded annually with a 53 million tonnes of cargo flown across the globe.

He said currently about 9.9 million people were employed in the aviation sector with a projection to rake in about 2.7 billion dollars this year from the industry.

According to him, Ghana was fast growing in becoming a hub with a five-year growth rate of 6.5 per cent.

By Charles Amankwa

 

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