- as city readies for int. airport status in August
The Car Rentals Association of Ghana is anticipating a new hub in Kumasi, targeting the city’s near international airport status by August this year.
The association, with a current membership of about 78 duly registered car rental companies and an employment strength of thousands in the vehicle rentals value chain, also seeks to expand to other metropolises in the future.
Directly, the association has about 1,500 full-time staff comprising drivers and front-office executives as well as almost 20,000 people in the rental value chain consisting of auto mechanics, spare part dealers, vehicle dealerships and part-time drivers.
“The association has a Kumasi and Takoradi branch, but the reason they are not vibrant is due to these cities non-international airport status. We hope that the facelift in Kumasi will soon be completed for us to strongly position our business there,” President of Car Rentals Association of Ghana, Seth Yeboah Ocran, told the B&FT.
Most international passengers make their car rental arrangements from Accra upon arrival into the country, and that according to the association, affects patronage in other areas apart from the capital. The association however maintains that once international flights go directly to Kumasi, there will be massive change in operations with regard to expansion.
Though capital intensive, the car rental business is doing appreciably well with some international franchise holders also operating in Ghana. “The pandemic disrupted activities of car rental companies for almost two years, but the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions enabled us to bounce back strongly, Mr. Ocran said, adding: “The future of expanding to other cities look feasible in tandem with the country’s global and domestic tourism drive”.
Indeed, the Kumasi International Airport, according to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, during an inspection of the facility earlier this month, said the facility will begin operations in August this year – two months ahead of its scheduled completion date.
The scope of work on the Airport includes the extension of existing runway pavement from 1,981 metres to 2,320 metres, among other sophisticated installations. The terminal will have the capacity to handle 800,000 passengers per annum when in operation. The international status of the airport is as well expected to affect the construction of about 400 kilometre stretch of roads within the metropolis.