Ghana to launch new national carrier “GhanaAirlines” next year
The Government of Ghana has revealed its plans to launch a new national airline – GhanaAirlines. The carrier will be based at Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra and will take to the skies in 2023.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta made the announcement in Parliament last week, saying: “Shareholders and partnership agreements were signed with the selected strategic partner for the home-based carrier, which will be known as GhanaAirlines.
“The airline is expected to be operationalised in 2023.”
The strategic partner referred to by Ofori-Atta in this case is Ashanti Airlines.
Founded in 2018, Ashanti Airlines is currently in the process of obtaining its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). The Government of Ghana will now work in collaboration with the new carrier to establish GhanaAirlines.
Discussions had previously been held with both Ethiopian Airlines and EgyptAir but they appear not to have come to fruition. No further detail has yet been provided regarding GhanaAirlines potential routes, aircraft orders, or a start date for operations.
A flag carrier for Ghana after 12 years
The African nation has been without a flag carrier since the demise of Ghana Airways in 2004 and later that of Ghana International Airlines in 2010. Africa World Airlines is currently the largest carrier in Ghana, last year accounting for over 65% of all domestic traffic.
This is followed by Passion Air, with its fleet of five Dash 8s. GhanaAirlines’s home will be the country’s largest airport, Kotoka International Airport in Accra, which saw up to three million passengers per year pre-pandemic.
The airport has been awarded the title of “Best Airport in Africa” by Airports Council International for the past three years running.
What competition will GhanaAirlines face?
If we look at routes currently available from Accra with other carriers, any new airline looking to establish itself in the West African market will face significant competition from an ever-growing number of carriers.
The airport is already well connected to major cities in the region, including Lagos, Abidjan and Banjul. Looking further afield, transatlantic services are offered by United Airlines to Washington Dulles International Airport and by Delta Air Lines to New York JFK.
Other major international carriers operating flights from Accra include British Airways to London Heathrow, Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, and Emirates to Dubai.
In addition to connecting Accra to its hub in Nairobi, Kenya Airways also operates a range of fifth-freedom flights from the Ghanaian capital to Monrovia and Freetown, and later this month will commence services to Dakar.
These routes, operated by a well-established airline, will mean considerable competition to any start-up airline based at Kotoka International Airport.
This story was written by Steven Walker and was first published on www.simpleflying.com.