Government’s quest to make the country an aviation hub has taken a step closer to reality, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between South African Airways (SAA) and Africa World Airlines (AWA)—an indigenous domestic and regional carrier.
The signing of the MoU to deepen commercial collaboration between the two airlines, coupled with recent investment in on-ground aviation infrastructure and up-coming projects, fits into the grand scheme of making the country an aviation hub in the sub-region.
Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, said by signing the MoU SAA and AWA are leading the way in the kind of partnerships required to truly make Kotoka International Airport a regional hub.
The US$350million flagship Terminal-3 at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) – with the capacity to process up to five million passengers per year – was recently opened to the travelling public.
The Tamale Airport Phase-II project, which is expected to cost US$70million, will also commence soon. The project is financed by KfW and will see the construction of a 5,000 square metre modern terminal building and a 1,500m2 multi-purpose facility capable of hosting Hajj pilgrims, and construction of roads in and around the airport.
Major areas of the MoU include implementation of an interline electronic ticketing arrangement between the signatories. This now enables SAA to issue an itinerary that includes AWA’s domestic or regional routes.
By this MoU, domestic passengers will now be able to purchase a single ticket to all routes serviced by SAA and AWA.
Passengers in the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi, for instance, can purchase a ticket to Washington D.C. or South Africa from SAA, and be issued with one ticket that enables them to fly into Accra on AWA and board the connecting flight to Washington D.C. on SAA without having to collect their luggage and check in again for the US or South Africa-bound flights at Kotoka International Airport.
It is the same for passengers flying into Kumasi from the US. One ticket is issued on SAA, and upon arrival in Accra they can connect on AWA to Kumasi and collect their luggage there.
“Anything we do today reflects the importance of partnerships. With this partnership, you are going to widen your reach in Ghana, the sub-region and other parts of the world,” Mr. Adda said at the signing ceremony held at the Aviation Ministry in Accra.
Togbe Afede, President of the National House of Chiefs and Founder of AWA, said AWA has so far enjoyed a good working relationship with SAA, and signing the MoU will see the two airlines deepen their collaboration to their mutual benefit.
Mr. Vuyani Jarana, CEO of SAA, said the South Africa-based airline has been working withAWA since 2017, and signing the MoU creates a path for the two teams to work together and also explore other opportunities.