After four years of absence from the runway at the Kotoka International Airport, Air Namibia is back to operations in Ghana.
According to the Manager of Air Namibia West Africa, Peter O. Addai, within the past few years, during the suspension of operation to Accra, other routes have been added to the network such as Gaborone in Botswana and Durban in south Africa.
He noted that Air Namibia is making travel within the sub region very reliable and competitive with the inclusion of Lagos on the network as well.
“Ours is to ensure reliability and seamless connectivity within the African continent. We believe our operations will provide opportunities for business, cultural exchange and tourism. The second coming of Air Namibia must not only be exciting but as an airline and as stakeholders we must help to sustain this operation this time around,” said Mr. Addai during the inaugural flight ceremony of Air Namibia.
A speech read on behalf of the Aviation Minister, Madam Ceceilia Dapaah, noted that government recognizes the contribution of airlines to the growth of the national economy and Air Namibia is no exception.
She assured Air Namibia and other airlines of the ministry’s unflinching support to promote airline operations in the country. She added that her ministry is committed to providing a stable platform and an enabling environment for the aviation industry to thrive in Ghana.
Ms. Dapaah said Air Namibia’s re-commencement of operations in Ghana after four years of absence in is commendable and a demonstration of the confidence of the international community in the government of Ghana.
She added that to improve stakeholder consultation with airline operators and other stakeholders, the Ministry in collaboration with its agencies and Board of Airline Operators instituted an annual Aviation Breakfast Meeting in 2017 to provide a platform of interaction as well as finding solutions to challenges confronting the industry.
This initiative, she noted, has further strengthened the already existing cordial relationship between the airline industry and the Ministry.
Another speech read on behalf of the Managing Director of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Mandi E.P Samson noted that the authority, as the industry regulator, will provide Air Namibia with all the necessary technical guidelines and the support to ensure a safe, secure and sustainable operation.
She said: “We however urge Air Namibia to ensure passenger rights are duly protected. To this end, the authority will soon issue customer protection directives to ensure that both operators and passengers are fully aware of their responsibilities and rights. We operate an open-door policy and the management of Air Namibia should feel free to contact us promptly whenever the regulator’s intervention is required in the course of your operations.”
Also present was John D. Ataffuah, Managing Director, Ghana Airport Company, who noted that the return of Air Namibia is a clear representation of the attractiveness and competitiveness of the Accra route.
He said: “Air Namibia is resuming operations to Ghana at a time when our flagship project, Terminal 3, is almost completed with the capacity of handling five million passengers a year. Terminal 3 promises to deliver the best of services to our cherished stakeholders and we hope that it will also provide airlines operating at KIA with the opportunity to either increase their frequencies or develop new routes to make Accra the hub of the West African sub-region. We also look forward to attracting new airlines as a result of this expansion.”
According to him, Air Namibia’s re-entry coincides with the 12-Route Africa conference which the Ghana Airport Company is hosting. This event is scheduled to take place in Accra from July 16 to 18 at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel.
He said the conference will provide the right forum to showcase Ghana to the rest of the world as well as interact with industry experts and leaders.
Mr. Attafuah urged stakeholders, particularly the airlines, to register and participate fully in this event to reap its full benefits. He also assured Air Namibia that his outfit will provide them with the needed support for smooth facilitation at KIA.