Following the collapse of Ghana Airways & Ghana International Airlines (GIA), Ghanaians have long sought for a national carrier that will restore our national pride & fly our national flag around the world.
The former Minister for Aviation; Madam Cecelia Dapaah is on record last year to have said the new national airline would be ready in 2019. There is no doubt that extensive consultations will take place and we understand over 20 international local & international airlines have expressed interest. Given the way the GIA experiment was handled and as a citizen of Ghana, I wish to express my humble suggestions to make the national work for good this time round.
We seem to have a penchant for European/US made items, but good things also abound in Africa. Before we look outside, Ethiopian Airlines offers us the right base and footing to start this journey. I choose Ethiopian for the 10 reasons below:
- They have been in existence since December 1945 meaning they have the capacity to withstand harsh economic turmoil and rising oil prices
- They are one of the very few profitable airlines in Africa. Even Etihad Airways is making losses!
- They are part of the Star Alliance network which includes Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada and United Airlines to mention a few. This means that our partnership with them opens code sharing agreements immediately with these world class names
- They are the ONLY viable state run airline in Africa – HISTORIC!
- They have a modern fleet of over 108 aircraft including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777, Boeing 737 Max & Airbus A350XWB. They were the first airline to operate the 787 & A350 aircraft on their route to Ghana. They also operate freighter services.
- They were the first airline in Africa to operate the Boeing 787 & Airbus A350. This means they are technology savvy & do not operate rickety planes.
- They fly to over 125 destinations in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia & the Americas giving Ghanaians the varied scope we desire.
- They handled over 8.75million passengers last year
- They have a well thought out strategy that aims at creating hubs to make travel within Africa easy. They have minority stakes currently in Asky Airlines-Togo & Malawi Airlines arrangements are in place to do same for Guinea, Chad & Mozambique.
- They were the first airline to parade an all -female crew. They are therefore gender balanced.
Indeed, since the official collapse of GIA in 2010, Ghanaians been forced to give our external travel business to foreign airlines. As an avid aircraft enthusiast watching the progress of Ethiopian Airlines, I am fully convinced that they know the African terrain well enough to make the desired impact.
The late Benjamin Disraeli (former British Prime Minister) once said “the secret to success is constancy of purpose”. This definitely sums up the history of Ethiopian. We cannot afford another mistake this time round. Just give the business to the masters of the African skies-Ethiopian Airlines!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ebow Quayson is an avid aircraft enthusiast. His hobby is aircraft spotting & he has nearly 20years of banking experience.