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27.07.2004 Business & Finance

Lufthansa to Introduce Daily Flights Next April

By Chronicle

Lufthansa German Airlines would introduce daily flights to the country by the end of April, next year, to ensure customer satisfaction and to attract more customers, the Country manager, Mr. Abdul Aziz Mangera has said.

Mr. Mangera who is also the President of the Board of Airlines Representatives in Ghana (BARGH), revealed to a cross section of newsmen in Accra last Friday.

The airline is now operating five flights a week. The country manager said they had put in place strategies to increase production in the country, including that which would attract more customers into their fold, especially customers on the Accra - London route.

The country saw a growth in passenger capacity of 2%, comprising 13% business class and 87% economy class.

Touching on the performance of the second quarter, Mr. Mangera said the Lufthansa Group airlines continued on its upward course as they carried more passengers, transported a higher volume of cargo, and achieved better capacity utilization in all traffic regions than in the comparable period of last year.

From January to June, the Group airlines flew 24.7 million passengers, representing 11.9% more than in last year's performance.

As a result of 14% increase in available capacity, its sales grew by 16.8%, capacity utilization rose 1.7 percentage points to 73.4%.

According to the Country Manager, the recovery in the cargo business segment continued as Lufthansa Cargo transported about 840,000 tonnes of freight and mail representing a year-on-year increase of 9.5%.

During the half-year performance, Lufthansa Group raised its overall load factor by 1.9 percentage points to 70.6%.

Mr. Mangera also disclosed that Lufthansa would raise more capital to buy more fleets through floating of new shares to its shareholders.

On the Sub-region, the manager said they wanted to have stronger presence with the airline, extending its services next year to Port Harcourt, Malabo, Cotonou and Abidjan.

Ghanair's problems would deepen if decision is not made now - President of BARGH

The president of the Board of Airlines Representatives in Ghana (BARGH) Mr. Abdul Aziz Mangera has said that the problems of the ailing Ghana Airways would deepen further if government waited too long in making a decision on the strategic partner for the airline. "There should be an equity partner," he stressed.

He made these known to journalists at a meeting in Accra last Friday.

The race for the award of the contract is now between a Mormon company and KLM.

He further called on the government to promote and support domestic and regional airlines to assist the country to become the nerve center of aviation in the sub-region.

Mr. Mangera said a strong local and regional network would serve as a feeder for international carriers.

Soebel Air, last year, suspended its operation after making huge losses and was not granted license to operate in the West African region.

Antrack Airline is also reported to have been making huge losses, just operating locally. City Link is having its own share of the problems.

With these heavy losses operating locally, Mr. Magera, in his position as the president of BARGH, is pressuring the authorities in charge to grant more licenses to these smaller airlines to operate along the West Coast of Africa to help cut down their cost.

He said with more airlines operating regionally, they would benefit from carrying passengers from other countries, which would be a win-win situation for the government in terms of more taxes, the international carriers in terms of sales and the domestic airline in terms of making profits.

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