Sunday, December 26, 2010

Carriers at Kotoka International Airport increase in 2010

For the past year, four new carriers have commenced operations at Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
KIA also saw the introduction of the Accra-Atlanta route by Delta Airlines, as well as the introduction of a third boarding gate.

The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mrs Doreen Owusu Fianko, said this on Thursday, at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols which was held by the GACL in Accra.
She said the increase in the number of airlines operating at the KIA was an endorsement of the world’s confidence in the Ghanaian economy, especially in the wake of the oil and gas find, “which is a catalyst for growth in airline passenger and cargo traffic”.
“I must confess that at GACL, we are greatly challenged with these new developments, but we are already poised for this challenge and putting the necessary facilities in place to handle all these flights into KIA,” she said.

Touching on the year ahead, the GACL Managing Director said there were plans to upgrade the baggage handling systems, provide two additional boarding gates, refurbish washrooms and remodel the Domestic Terminal to handle international operations.
“Final designs for the terminal expansion would be completed by the end of the year and construction should start well before the end of next year, all things being equal,” she said.
Mrs Fianko said works were expected to improve passenger comfort “and we are therefore seeking the 
co-operation of all users of the airport to make these projects possible”.


Kotoka Airport to get two new boarding gates

The Kotoka International Airport is expected to have two new boarding gates by mid-February next year.

The new gates will be located next to gate two, behind the duty-free area. The new facility is being financed by US carrier Delta Airlines as part of its contribution to the expansion of the airport.

Delta Airline’s Corporate Communication Chief for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Debbie Egerton told Joy Business the airline regards the facility as a significant investment to improve the comfort of passengers and that there will be an independent air-conditioned holding area for Delta passengers as well as those of its partners in the Sky Team Alliance; Air France and KLM.

The Commercial Manager for Delta Airlines in West and East Africa, Bobby Bryan said construction works had already started in co-operation with the airport authorities.

“The biggest advantage for us is that it gives us the ability to schedule flights when it works best for our passengers,” he stated.

Source: Joy Business/Ghana

Friday, May 21, 2010

AFRAA Embarks on Restructuring Strategy

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has embarked upon a restructuring and revitalisation strategy revolving around three ‘R’s, namely, relevance, reputation and revenue. At a meeting just concluded in Nairobi, Kenya, the Executive Committee of AFRAA endorsed a plan of action presented by the new Secretary General, Mr Nick Fadugba, aimed a transforming AFRAA into a more relevant and vibrant airline association for the continent.
The AFRAA Executive Committee comprises Chief Executive Officers from Afriqiyah Airways, Air Ivoire, Air Mali, EgyptAir, Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, LAM-Mozambique Airlines, Nigerian Eagle Airlines, South African Express and Tunis Air, and is chaired by Mr David Tokoph, Executive Chairman of Interair South Africa. Also in attendance was Mrs Siza Mzimela, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways.

Explaining the ‘Three Rs’ turnaround strategy, Mr Fadugba said: “AFRAA has lost relevance in the eyes of some of its members, has seemed to lack the international stature, authority and prestige needed to command global attention on key issues, and currently faces financial challenges. By improving the Association’s relevance to its members and enhancing its international reputation, it will be in a stronger position to generate increased revenues through the growth in airline membership and the expansion of its industry Partnership Programme, etc.”

The Executive Committee also mandated Mr Fadugba to voice the concern of African airlines on key industry issues to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and to seek its intervention through the Director General, Mr Giovanni Bisignani. The issues include:

• The harmful impact of the EU ‘Blacklist’ on the global reputation of the African airline industry;

• Unilateral aviation regulations, such as the EU’s proposed carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS);

• Global liberalisation and its damaging impact on African airlines;

• More active collaboration in collecting and analysing African airlines traffic data;

• The need for IATA to ensure African airlines are included in its Working Groups and activities such as the IATA Annual General Assembly (AGM); and

• Europe’s new policy of Block negotiations on air transport market access which unfairly pitches the EU against individual African states.

The Committee agreed to recommend the appointment of the Group Chairman of EgyptAir, Eng. Hussein Massoud, to the IATA Board of Governors as the joint representative of AFRAA and the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO). In addition, Mrs Siza Mzimela, CEO of South African Airways, was unanimously nominated to fill the other upcoming vacancy for Africa on the IATA Board.

The Committee further agreed with the Secretary General’s recommendation to reposition the AFRAA brand by redesigning its logo and modernising its website consistent with the planned new image of the Association.

The meeting concluded with a pledge by members to support the Secretary General and his team in the implementation of the restructuring plan so as to make the Association more responsive to the needs of its member airlines.

In a symbolic departure from the past, the meeting took place at AFRAA’s headquarters rather than in a hotel conference room. This enabled Committee members to familiarise themselves with AFRAA’s offices and facilities, which some were visiting for the first time.

Source: African Aviation

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brussels Airlines to commence flights from Accra

 Brussels Airlines,a new addition to airliners operating in Ghana, would commence flights from Accra to Brussels in July 2010.

There would also be a multitude of connections to over 50 destinations in Europe and more than 900 destinations world wide, through its star alliance partners.

Mr. Bernard Gustin, Chief Executive Officer of Brussels Airline, told journalists on Tuesday at a press briefing in Accra, that the "unrivalled" experience of Brussels Airlines as the leading specialist for flights between Africa and Europe could absolutely be counted upon.

He said with the addition of four new West African destinations, namely Accra, Lome, Cotonou and Ougadougou, Brussels Airlines will serve 18 African destinations from Brussels.

Mr. Frederic Steils, Country Director of Brussels Airlines, said the choice of Accra by the Airline for its operations was due to increased economic activity in the capital.

He said a significant boom in trade and business in Accra, made it an ideal place for the airline to operate from.

Source: GNA

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to split into two

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is to separate its regulatory functions from the navigation services following a review of its Act (Act 678), which is expected to be approved by Parliament.

Mr William Amoako, Air Traffic Controller, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday, said the separation was to create two separate entities to manage the two broad functions.

He said the decision was in fulfillment of the International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements.

Mr Amoako said the separation would ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the aviation industry saying: “you cannot be a referee and a player at the same time”.

He said another advantage would be that each entity would have its own budgetary allocation and enable it to focus on its core functions to make Ghana a first class nation in aviation services.

Source: GNA

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jimoh Ibrahim acquires Virgin Nigeria

Managing Director of Nicon Group, Lawyer and business tycoon, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has bought 49 per cent shares of Virgin Nigeria from Sir Richard Branson making him the new owner of the airline. Details of the deal were not disclosed, however, Mr. Ibrahim said the take-over was part of plan to expand the aviation arm of the conglomerate.
african aviation newsThe airline, in a bid to survive, recently went through a metamorphosis changing its name from Virgin Nigeria to Nigerian Eagle and reducing its workforce. The new majority shareholder of the airline, Mr. Ibrahim has had a stint in the aviation industry before as he bought over former EAS Airline which he rebranded into the now defunct Nicon Airways.With him at the meeting was the Managing Director of Virgin Nigeria, Captain Dapo Olumide, who will retain his position. Mr. Ibrahim Noted that the turn around plan of Virgin Nigeria would be "conservative and arithmetical". We will grow gradually, he said. Though workers of Virgin Nigeria were assured of the safety of their jobs, the finance director has, however, been redeployed already.

Source: African Aviation News

Airlines in Ghana assure passengers of flights

Airlines at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) which were affected by the recent closure of the air-space over Europe, have assured and offered to fly all passengers who were grounded to their various destinations.

“The situation is due to circumstances which were beyond any one’s control. From the look of things, I believe all waiting passengers would have joined their various flights within a few days “, an airline official told the Ghana News Agency.

The recent closure of European airports for about a week, created a back-log of passengers who are now waiting to embark on their booked flights.

A number of these passengers who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, said they felt frustrated at the situation adding, they had received no concrete information on when they could board their flights.

The airline officials explained that because they had many more passengers to ferry over this time round, it was definitely going to take a little while for all the passengers to embark upon their flights.

Meanwhile, since the ban on flights in and out of Europe was lifted, the European airlines, mainly KLM, British Airways, Alitalia and Lufthanza have begun their normal flights to the KIA.

The first of these flights to arrive had much fewer passengers than usual.
Some of the passengers told the Ghana News Agency that they believed it was because many travelers were uncertain of their safety, although the skies had been officially declared safe.

At Aviance Ghana Ltd, which caters for the cargo section of the KIA, several food stuffs could not be exported as a result of the situation.

Mr. Riis Onyame, Operations Manager, Aviance Ghana Ltd, told the Ghana News Agency that foods of the soil such as vegetables as well as fresh fruits were exported in their very fresh state.

He said as a result of the situation, several of these fruits could not be exported because they had lost their freshness, causing heavy loss to exporters as well as farmers.

A source at Air-Ghana, operators of Cargolux, said over 250,000 dollars in export had been lost during the period.

Exporters of fresh greens and vegetables at the cargo section said they had made heavy losses during the period.

The losses we have made run into millions of Ghana cedis,” said one exporter to the GNA.

With the re-opening of the European air-space, fresh greens and vegetables could now be seen once more being packaged and prepared for export to the European markets.

The air-space in about 20 European countries was recently closed as a result of volcanic ash from Iceland.

The ash, a mixture of glass, sand and rock, it was feared, could damage aircraft engines. A BBC report estimated that affected airlines would have lost 200 million dollars a day during the period of the closure.

Source: GNA