Nigeria, Ghana In Heated Race To Revive Collapsed National Carriers

Nigeria, Ghana In Heated Race To Revive Collapsed National Carriers

From Ghana Web

West African neighbours Ghana and Nigeria are both stepping up efforts to establish new national carriers to serve their respective countries.

Both countries have failed in their previous attempts to successfully run a national airline. Ghana’s flag carrier Ghana Airways, and Nigeria’s national airline Nigeria Airways collapsed under heavy debts.

Government’s latest attempt to establish a sustainable and profitable airline is the third since independence following the demise of the erstwhile Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines.

Ghana Airways was founded in 1958, and for decades was the national airline with Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as its hub. However, the airline, ridden with debt, ceased operations in 2004. Attempts were made to revive its fortunes, but to no avail: in June 2005 it was liquidated.

With the support of private investors, Ghana International Airlines (GIA) was established in 2004 after Ghana Airlines’ demise. The airline faced difficulties and eventually suspended its operations in May 2010.

In the proposed new arrangement, Ghana’s government is seeking a carried interest and a partner with experience in running an international carriers.

Government is nonetheless optimistic about the success of a new national carrier, given the growing importance and ability of the country to cater for transit passengers and tourist from the sub-region, Europe and the Americas.

“As a government we are going ahead with the arrangement, because we know the importance of establishing the airline for our objective of establishing KIA as an aviation hub,” Chief Director of Ghana’s Ministry of Transport, Twumasi Ankrah-Selby said.

Ghana Airport Company data show a significant growth in transit passengers and cargo throughput for the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for 2014, pointing to the growing importance of Ghana as an aviation hub in the sub-region.

Populous West African country, Nigeria, is setting up a committee to consult with local and international partners on establishing a national airline, Nigeria’s ministry of aviation is reported as saying by news agency Reuters.

Read more at Ghana Web