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14.10.2002 Business & Finance

Rescue Plan for Ghanair

By Accra Mail
Rescue Plan for Ghanair
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AfricaOne Airlines has presented government with a business plan to rescue the national carrier. This follows government's announcement that it has not settled on a partner for Ghana Airways. The other frontrunner in the bid to partner Ghana Airways, Nationwide Airlines has already submitted a business plan which government sources say is very workable. Joel Lamptey of Information News Company (INC) has assessed the proposals of the two airlines and presents the following report below. INC has obtained a copy of the proposal signed by Mr. Charles Heather, AfricaOne's Chief Executive, and addressed to the Acting Chief Executive of Ghana Airways, Mr. William Panford Bray. In the proposal AfricaOne airline like the other bidders will provide management consultancy services, aircraft and equipment. They will also provide maintenance and support to ensure improvement in the services of the national carrier. But fifty one per cent of profits generated from the partnership will go to the government while AfricaOne gets forty nine percent. This sharply contrasts Nationwide's proposal which intends to retain sixty per cent of operating profits. Like Nationwide Airlines, which proposes a new name, Ghana Nationwide International Airlines, AfricaOne will also change the airline's name to One Air Ghana if their bid is accepted. The change of name is strategic because the debts of the new airline would be transferred to the government since they are responsible for the airline's current crisis. The new airline would therefore kick start its operations on a new note. Even as the AfricaOne proposal acknowledges the 170 million dollar debt of Ghana Airways and its numerous outstanding loan settlements Mr. Charles Heather is convinced that they could utilize the numerous Bilateral Air Service Agreements of the national carrier to expand their routes and make profit. This argument is in sync with the ideas of the Nationwide's Chief Executive, Vernon Bricknell who expects to evolve out of Ghana Airways an airline that could prove to be a thorn in the flesh of other established airlines. One other proposal is that of the Hamburg Branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who have expressed the desire to collect about 150 million dollars from Ghanaians abroad to settle the debt of the national airline. In turn they will benefit from fare discounts whenever they travel on Ghana Airways within a two-year period.

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