Ghana seeks investors for a home based international airline
The government of Ghana seeks partners to establish a home-based international airline, Minister for Aviation Cecilia Abena Dapaah has said.
"Cabinet gave approval in October 2017 for the Ministry of Aviation to start the necessary process for the establishment of a home-based carrier with private sector participation," the minister told the media on Monday.
"The establishment of the carrier has the potential to generate financial and economic benefits with its multiplier effect on Ghana and within the west African sub-region," the minister said.
The previous national carrier, Ghana Airways, was established in 1958, but was liquidated in 2004 by the government of former President John Kufuor. Its last aircraft, a DC-10, has become a restaurant, sitting close to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The cabinet has also given approval for the ministry to enter into negotiations with Air Mauritius and Abu Dhabi Aviation while continuing with discussions with Ethiopian Airlines and other strategic investors to help establish the home-based carrier.
There have been different attempts at securing a new home-based carrier for the west African country, where international passenger numbers grew 3.71 percent to 1,811,428 last year, from 2016's 1,746,699.
Domestic traffic also surged, rising 14.5 percent to reach 483,261 last year, up from 421,261 recorded in 2016.
After the liquidation of Ghana Airways in 2004, Ghana entered into a partnership with a group of international private investors to set up Ghana International Airlines (GIA) in 2005.
However, due to liquidity challenges and a protracted legal battle among the shareholders, the airline, which operated scheduled, charter passenger and cargo services, had to fold up five years later in 2010.
Ghana has expanded the capacity of its international airport with the construction of a third terminal, which experts see as a great opportunity for the country to be able to facilitate larger numbers of international passenger movement.