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16.11.2009 Business & Finance

GIA to partner major airlines

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Well renowned airlines have expressed their interest to partner Ghana International Airline (GIA), as part of the airlines major revamping and restructuring programme. The agreement will require the interested airlines to buy shares when the government off loads some of its 70 percent shares in the company. This follows the impressive operation of GIA over the last year, which has been lauded by the international aviation fraternity.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airline, Mrs. Gifty Annan-Myers made the disclosure in an interview with this reporter in London. She said plans are far advanced for the proposal to be finalised and the necessary legal and administrative procedures to commence, adding that “we are only waiting for the end of our legal battle”.

Mrs. Annan-Myers said it was premature to name the interested airlines, but indicated that they have followed the operations of the GIA for some time now and they are impressed about its achievements. “They are very much interested because they have seen that GIA is viable and can make huge profits if good structures and facilities are put in place. That is why management found government's decision to give the airline time to restructure and become self sustaining as expedient and very much welcomed,” the CEO affirmed.

She said the decision brings new and revived breath into the airline and not the end of the road as being speculated. “The negative publicity that characterised the announcement on the government's decision created the impression that the airline was coming to an end, but it was rather a new birth,” Mrs Annan Myers stressed.

Mrs. Annan Myers noted that the decision was an excellent approach that would give the airline a new beginning. She however expressed concern over the time frame, saying that was too short. “We will survive and become a very great airline, we have even started restructuring the airline, some of us have to bring on board our commercial experience and many other staff members are so committed, and that is why we have improved tremendously in a very short time”, she observed.

She said the decision of government was not explicit, explaining that apart from the issue of withdrawal of subvention; nothing concrete was mention in the three paragraph letter signed by the Minister of Transport.

She declared, “They should tell us if they (government) will want to offload their shares, and they should tell us what kind of investors they will want to come on board and they should tell us the kind of enabling environment they are creating for the airline.”

She said as part of the restructuring programme of the airline, an aircraft will be acquired to fly around the West Coast to serve as a feed to the London and Dusseldorf route. This, according to the CEO, will increase the profit margin of the company.

She explained that with the current operation, there are huge profit margins in the high season of three months only, but such three months profit has to compensate for the rest of the year. A situation she described as not good enough for an airline like the GIA

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