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01.10.2004 Feature Article

Ghana Airways - Ghanaians In United States Pettition The President

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His Excellency President J.A. Kufour President of the Republic of Ghana Osu Castle Accra – Ghana

His Excellency: PETITION FOR REVITALIZATION OF GHANA AIRWAYS LTD IN THE USA Since its maiden voyage in 1994 when Ghana Airways was inaugurated to operate direct flights from New York City to Accra, the airline has grown to become the most favorable and indeed the only direct flight between New York and the West African sub-region. Its clientele consisted primarily of Ghanaians and other West Africans coming from and going to the USA, and more particularly, other group such as African-Americans and tourists, student and others traveling between the US and the Sub-Region. As a result of this diverse population served, Ghana Airways was in a unique position to capitalize on this niche market to become an exemplary carrier, a source of pride and joy to all Ghanaians. However, the sudden absence of Ghana Airways from the route has brought untold hardship, frustration and shame to all Ghanaians in the Diaspora, and other customers who have come to rely on it for their commercial, diplomatic as well as tourist purposes. This absence forced travelers to detour through Europe, Dubai, Nairobi, Addis Ababa increasing travel time from 9hrs to 3 days in these modern times and cost over $ 2,200.00 on some carriers serving Ghana and West Africa. Some have even abandoned their travel plans because of inconvenience and the high cost of travel. Without Ghana Airways there to ensure price competition, other carriers have increased their fares, placed restrictions on luggage and other customer services we have come to expect and enjoy from Ghana Airways.

In a lesser known way, Ghana Airways has operated here in New York as a socially responsible company through engagement and sponsorship of activities and events within the Diaspora community, and more importantly, the African-American community. Ghana Airways has sponsored programs in the community and by proxy serves as a goodwill ambassador, selling Ghana to the world, an action that helps encourage tourism to Ghana, especially among African-American and Americans at large.

In light of these positive contributions that Ghana Airways has made in the USA, the potential revenues at stake, and current debacle regarding it's future, we the undersigned, the Secretariat of the National Council of Ghanaian Associations, and head of the various member organizations and associations, are petitioning your Excellency to take a personal look at the current situation and take initiatives to ensure a smooth and realistically sensible and effective resolution. It must be stressed that the survival of Ghana Airways in this part of the world is very crucial and deserves critical analysis and decision that will be beneficial to our motherland. We therefore suggest that the following measures be taken immediately to help our ailing national airline:

1. In the interim, renegotiate with the US Government to re-start the US Operations. This will reduce the cost of transporting stranded passengers and being incompliance with various agreements and conventions between Ghana Airways and other countries.

2. Discontinue the current joint venture partnership with the Ghana International Airlines.

3. Explore the possibility of signing management and technical contract with a reputable and established airline, since that is the only condition the US Dept. of Transportation will reinstate Ghana Airways operating license.

We hope this petition will be favorably received by His Excellency, and that the necessary steps will be taken to make things work for the collective good of all Ghanaians both home and here in the Diaspora.

Sincerely

Signed

Alhaji Mohammed Mardah Executive Secretary General

Ivy Quarshie Deputy Executive Secretary General

Mardah/Quarshie
Mardah/Quarshie, © 2004

The author has 1 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: MardahQuarshie

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