China Southern Airlines in advanced talks to start Guangzhou-Accra flights

Maritime, Port & Aviation China Southern Airlines is seeking to operate a direct flight between Guangzhou and Accra
FEB 15, 2024 LISTEN
China Southern Airlines is seeking to operate a direct flight between Guangzhou and Accra

China Southern Airlines is in advanced talks with Ghanaian authorities to start direct Guangzhou-Accra- Guangzhou flights, as part of efforts to deepen bilateral trade between the two friendly countries, AviationGhana can confirm.

Trade between the West African country and China has averaged US$10 billion over the last three years. However, most Ghanaian traders have to connect flights to China mainly via Dubai, Addis Ababa, and Istanbul, due to the absence of direct fight and the yet-to-be-revived national flag carrier.

Dr. Winfred Nii Okai Hammond, Ghana's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People's Republic of China, in a statement noted that discussions with China Southern to start direct flights from its base in Guangzhou, China to Accra, Ghana is in advanced stages

“It is very important for us to have this direct flight and we are praying that GOD will help us to get the right airline as we have the likes of China Southern in mind. They have indicated interest and looking at the feasibility. Discussions are far advanced with all relevant agencies and at the end of the day, it is in the interest of Ghana that we can link up with China in terms of commerce. Our businesses must consider must consider this a significant step,” he said.

With continued efforts to establish itself as a network-oriented world-class airline with Chinese characteristics, China Southern Airlines has formed an extensive network across China that links Europe and Oceania and radiates throughout North America, the Middle East, and Africa from Asia.

China Southern operates more than 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries and regions across the world. For years China Southern has been committed to building up the Canton Route to turn Guangzhou into an international air hub. Now Guangzhou is becoming the No.1 gateway from China mainland to Australasia and Southeast Asia.

Absence of a home-based carrier
Ghana Airlines, a public-private initiative by the Government of Ghana to operationalize a home-based carrier, is not ready to fly despite initial assurances that the airline would start selling tickets in April and May and commence commercial flights by June-July, 2023.

Ashanti Airlines, and its financial partner, Zotus Group, won the tender to commence business last year and earnestly began processes to acquire the requisite certification from the aviation sector regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Ashanti Airlines, which already had an Air Carrier License (ACL) prior to the award of the tender, filed its documentation with the GCAA for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) -- the second such certification mandated by law before an airline is fully established and can start commercial scheduled and non-scheduled flights.

Ashanti Airlines, and its financial partner, Zotus Group led by former footballer Emile Heskey, are yet to launch their logo and avail tickets for sale.

Information obtained by indicates that Ashanti Airlines and its partner are yet to complete the required processes to obtain an AOC, and are yet to acquire aircraft.

Ashanti Airlines is backed by Ghanaian business mogul and co-founder of the Despite Group of Companies, Osei Kwame Despite, and his partner, Ernest Ofori Sarpong.

Ghana has been without a national airline since the collapse of Ghana International Airlines in 2010, following the demise of Ghana Airways in 2004. Attempts to establish a new home-based carrier have led to the signing of MoUs with Ethiopian Airlines and EgyptAir respectively with no clear outcome.

This led to the establishment of a new Committee to vet all proposals, after the erstwhile Ministry of Aviation was subsumed into the Ministry of Transport.

Dominick  Andoh
Dominick Andoh

Aviation ReporterPage: AviationGhana