Ghana: New airline – Africa World Airlines set to take off this September
Africa World Airlines, a joint Venture between the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, the Strategic African Securities (ASA), both of Ghana, and Hainan Airlines of China, is set to take to the skies on September 21 this year.
The airline, a US$ 50 million enterprise, with a 24-city business plan, will go regional from day one and will combine domestic operations with flights int the West Africa region.
Initially, its destinations will include Ouagadougou, Abidjan, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Conakry, Dakar, Banjul and in the medium-term expand to include Johannesburg, Harare, Entebbe and Luanda.
In the long term, it is planned to include destinations outside Africa.
The new airline is determined to end the era of frustrations when flights from Accra to some African capitals took more than 20 hours because of the circuitous nature of the flight routes, when the same journey could be done in six hours with a direct flight.
As an example, in order to fly to Cape Verde from Accra, one has to fly to Lisbon in Portugal and catch a connecting flight back to Cape Verde.
Delays increase the cost of doing business within Africa.
Ghana government officials have welcomed the creation of the Africa World Airlines – with the hope that Ghanaian-based airlines take advantage of the large and lucrative market that is served by so few airlines.