Domestic airlines implements ‘No Mask, No Entry’ policy

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…. flights to be disinfected at city airports before departure

Domestic Airline operators, in adherence to the presidential directives on the wearing of nose mask at public places, have made it compulsory for all passenger to wear face masks and carry personal hand sanitisers throughout their journey.

The move is to ensure that high safety protocols are practiced among the crew and passengers of the airline. Apart from the mandatory handwashing and sanitising of the hands before boarding the flights, all flights would be disinfected upon arrival at the city airports before loading for another takeoff.

Two major domestic airlines currently operating, Africa World Airline (AWA) and Passion Air are experiencing some slow operations but are hopeful of high numbers as the country’s efforts to fight the outbreak of COVID-19 yield results.

Head of Marketing at Passion Air, Samuel Razak Tachie, told the B&FT in an interview that “we are in difficult times and it is obvious that airlines globally have taken a big hit. Operations must go on so we are all finding innovative ways around it. Business will be slow but we are hoping for the best. In terms of health and safety protocols, we are ensuring that we do all and even more than the health authority and the Airport company is demanding.”

AWA published a customer advisory which read: “Africa World Airlines wishes to remind all passengers traveling domestically within Ghana that they must be in possession of a face mask that meets Ghana Health Service standards, as well as a personal container of hand sanitizer.

No food or drink will be permitted for consumption during the flight, and passengers will be required to remain in their assigned seats at all times. No passengers (other than children below 12) will be seated immediately next to each other in order to maintain social distancing.

The Ministry of Aviation announced the resumption of domestic flight operations from Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to other cities of the country last Friday, May 1, 2020.

A statement from the ministry read: “The Ministry of Aviation, in collaboration with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Ghana Airports Company Limited and Ghana Health Service have instituted measures to ensure smooth domestic airline operations. it is the expectation of the Ministry that domestic airline operators and the travelling public will comply strictly with the laid down protocols by officials of Port Health stationed at the various airports.

The commencement of domestic air travel operations comes in the wake of the disinfection of the major airports in Ghana including the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi following the lifting of the partial lockdown by His Excellency the President.”

The statement, signed by the Minister of Aviation Joseph Kofi Adda went on to say: “The Ministry of Aviation wishes to assure the general public that the country’s Airports are safe as they open up for domestic operations and the government remains committed to safety of passengers and service providers as part of measures to restoring normalcy to the aviation industry.

We will review laid down protocols during the domestic operation and when necessary, introduce improved procedures to further enhance the measures to strengthen the fight against coronavirus pandemic as it affects the aviation sector. We urge the travelling public as well as airline operators and all stakeholders to cooperate with the government during this difficult period,” the statement concluded.

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