Ghana will soon launch its national airline to replace the defunct national courier which suffered a devastated liquidation and ceased operation in 2005. This particular airline is said to be a joint initiative from the current Ghanaian government with a majority of support from the private sector. Ghana’s President, John Mahama told reporters at the commencement of refurbishment of a regional airport in the northern city of Tamale that the new national airline being considered by his government will be vibrant to compete with other African airlines. He urged the Ghanaian public to support and invest in the airline when it starts operation. In the recent past, independent observers and Civil Society Organization have expressed fears over the ability of the Ghanaian government to manage a commercial airline due to the previous failure.
Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah in 1958 established the first national airline-Ghana Airways with a startup capital of ₤400,000. The then government held 60 percent stake, with the defunct British Overseas Airways Corporation holding the remainder in the first independent nation in sub-Sahara Africa. But successive Ghanaian governments failed to sustain it due to mismanagement and corruption. However, President Mahama said his government has put in place the appropriate measures to ensure that the airline will not suffer the fate of the previous one. “For those who have apprehension I want to assure you even though it’s a new national airline, it is being done with the private sector. Government will be minority shareholder and the airline company that we partner with will have absolute management control”, he said.
According to the president, Ghana cannot afford to lose out on the current booming aviation business around the world. He urged the private sector to take the lead role in rushing for the shares of the new airline to become majority shareholders instead of given that opportunity to the government. Apart from establishing the new airline, the government is currently upgrading its regional airports to meet International Aviation Standards across the country. Last month, an Ethiopian cargo airline from the Togolese capital-Lome, crashed landed at Ghana’s international airport. There were no casualties. Since the incident, pressures have been mounting on airport authorities to relocate the airport to a different place where human activity is limited. The Kotoka International Airport is the only international airport for Ghana but human settlement is threatening the safety of the airport.