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15.04.2011 General News

Ghana signs bilateral air services agreement with Spain

By GNA
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April 14, 2011 Accra, April 14, GNA - Ghana and Spain have initialled a bilateral Air Services Agreement and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow direct flights between both countries.

The agreement followed two days of negotiations between delegations from Ghana and Spain in Accra from April 12-13, to review the previous agreement.

The new agreement would allow flights for passengers and cargo from Ghana directly to Spain and vice versa.

Mr Raul Medina Caballero, Deputy Director General, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, led the Spanish delegation.

He said it was important to update the current agreement into a modern framework to allow for the first flight between Ghana and Spain to provide the platform for creating the necessary conditions for direct flights.

Mr Caballero said: "Our experience shows us that reaching an adequate air transport framework will, without doubt, help to consolidate and strengthen the relationship between countries, fostering not only the air transport branch but also widening social, cultural and business opportunities among countries".

He said a more flexible and open agreement would be enough to start creating a real air link between Ghana and Spain.

The Ghanaian delegation included Mr Selby Twumasi Ankrah, a representative of the Ministry of Transport, who signed the MOU on Ghana's behalf, Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited, and Air Commodore Kwame Mamphey, Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko, speaking to GNA, said the new agreement was an update on the previous one signed about 15 years ago and only allowed flights from Accra to Las Palmas but the new agreement would enable designated flights from Spain to fly directly to Accra.

He explained: "It also provides a more relaxed policy on transfer of earnings, that is, the airlines would be able to easily transfer cash through the Bank of Ghana to Spain and vice versa".

Mrs Owusu-Fianko said a text agreement would be sent to the Attorney General by the Sector Ministry after which it would be sent to Cabinet and then to Parliament for approval.

The MoU spells out the modus operandi for designated airlines subject to approval of the GCAA of aircraft type and licensing of personnel.

So far only IBERIA, a Spanish airline is ready to begin operations in October 2011 and no Ghanaian airline has yet expressed intention to begin flights to Spain.

The Spanish delegation included Ms Ana Belen De Castro Reyero, Legal Advisor DGCA, Ms Beatriz Saiz Rubio, Air Transport Policy Advisor and Ms Rebecca Chantal Guinea Stal, a representative of the Embassy of Spain in Ghana.

Others were Mr Federico Soto Gonzalez, Traffic Rights Manager of IBERIA, and representative of the Association of Spanish Companies of Air Transport and Mr Javier Ortega Figueiral, Deputy Director External Relations SPAINAIR and representative of the Association of Spanish Airlines.

GNA

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