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No gov’t interference in new national airline – Aviation Minister

Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has disclosed that there will be no government interference in the operations of Ghana’s new national airline.

According to her, the decision is to promote efficiency and avert another collapse of the proposed new national carrier.

The Minister made the remarks when she joined a panel to discuss ways on fixing Africa’s Air Transport challenges which was organized by the BBC as part of its Africa debates, last Friday.

“As a member of this government with a new vision in aviation in this country, there will be no government interference and the staff and the management will have to be the best because it is not only political interference that runs airlines down; it is also by management as well as the workers, that is the staff,” she stated.

Ghana is yet to re-launch its national airline after the collapse of the Ghana Airways and the Ghana International Airlines.

The Minister has given indication that the operations of new national carrier should be rolled out by 2019.

Yamoussoukro Declaration unheeded?

Ghana is among the numerous African countries that are yet to re-establish national carriers to facilitate air travel within the sub-region and across Africa.

The call to develop the African airspace has also become necessary following the apparent failure by most economies to heed a resolution agreed on at the Yamoussoukro Declaration in 1999.

The agreement, signed by 44 countries, among others called for the liberalization of African skies for African airlines, and aimed to establish a single African air transport market by avoiding market restrictions imposed by bilateral air service agreements.

Also, it is stated that more than 80% of airlines operating in the continent are foreign.

Ghana suspends national carrier plan

Currently, ten airline companies have been shortlisted awaiting the approval of their Request for Proposal by the Committee mandated for the task.

The move to secure a new national airline was started by the past NDC government but suspended with the election of a new government in December 2016.

Madam Cecilia Dapaah who maintains that her outfit will draw lessons from other well performing national carriers, was confident of Ghana’s success to become the aviation hub it intends to become.

“Ghana doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, we are looking at best practices and fortunately we have our brothers in Addis and we are going to take a lot of advice from them. We have also engaged other experts to have an open discussion on the best model to choose,” she stressed.

“I am yet to get cabinet approval so I won’t go into too much detail but it is coming on and I believe we will have all the best practices,” the Minister concluded.

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