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08.01.2004 Business & Finance

Emirates Airlines makes maiden flight to Ghana

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Accra, Jan. 8, GNA - Emirates Air on Wednesday made its maiden flight to Accra, flying in Airbus A330-20c aircraft to the Kotoka International Airport.

On board the aircraft was a delegation of officials of the airline led by Mr Ghaith Al Ghai, the Executive Vice President in charge of Commercial Operations of the airline.

At the short inaugural ceremony Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, said the arrival of Emirates Air in Ghana was in line with the government's objective of pursuing a liberalized skies policy and make the Kotoka International Airport the hub within the sub-region. He said the policy was also to facilitate trade and make Ghana attractive to tourists.

"The coming of Emirates would provide the vital link that would facilitate trade and tourism between Ghana and the Emirates." He said the government of Ghana was supporting the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to modernize the infrastructure of the airport to meet the challenges of the vibrant and dynamic aviation industry. The Minister said the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority had also made adequate investment to upgrade safety and security measures within the Airport.

"The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority has raised security alertness and all airlines operating to Accra can be assured of safety to facilitate their operations."

Captain Joe Boachie, Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) praised the Emirates for its decision to operate in West Africa in spite of the uncertain environment the air transport industry was facing.

He expressed the hope that in the Emirates' medium to long-term plans, it would consider the Kotoka International Airport as the preferred regional hub for the extension of its routes to the Western Hemisphere.

Mr al Ghai said the Emirates had decided to locate its regional office in Accra because of the political and economic climate prevailing in the country.

He said Emirates would fly four times a week between Accra and Dubai on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with a stop over in Lagos.

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