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14.08.2004 General News

Ghana Airways granted more time to transport passengers

Ghana Airways granted more time to transport passengers
LISTEN AUG 14, 2004

Accra, Aug. 14, GNA - The United States (US) Department of Transport has extended the terms and the period of the order granted to the Ghana Airways to transport stranded passengers to and from the US. A statement issued in Accra by the Management of Ghana Airways said following representations made by the Airline, the new conditions permit Ghana Airways to convey passengers with one-way tickets to and from the USA; returning passengers and originating passengers with Ghana Airways tickets but have return tickets on other airlines

The statement requested passengers who fall into these categories to call telephone numbers 021 - 768807 or 021 - 768809 for further information.

It said Ghana Airways had carried over 1,100 passengers to the United States using an aircraft leased from World Airways and would continue to arrange and fly all stranded passengers in the above categories.

The Management apologised sincerely for the inconveniences the disruptions had caused its cherished passengers.

In another development Ghana Airways has now secured a Boeing 767 aircraft to clear the backlog of passengers on the Accra-London route, whose flights have been delayed since Sunday 8 August. The agreement for the short lease aircraft was signed on Friday.

A news report from Ghana Review International made available to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday said the aircraft would on Monday August 16 commence airlifting the stranded passengers both in Accra and London.

Once the aircraft is in place, the movement of the passengers would proceed in the order in which they were supposed to have travelled either out of Accra or London.

This aircraft would undertake a shuttle service for its European routes until all the stranded passengers are cleared before reverting to its usual three times a week flight to and from London on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, Roger Allotey, Ghana Airways Manager for Europe, said.

He explained that the Airline's only DC-10 aircraft developing a technical fault following the outward flight from London and that caused the problem on Wednesday 4 August.

A decision was taken to lease a replacement aircraft from Germany. However the UK Department of Transport expressed reservations about the documentation of the aircraft and thus refused to grant landing rights. Negotiations for another lease also fell through as late as 2030 hours on Friday 6 August, by which time it was too late to do anything until the following Monday August 9.

On Monday the Airline could only secure a 223-seater Boeing 757 for one flight, which eventually left London Gatwick at dawn on Wednesday 11 August, carrying the passengers, who had been stranded in London since Friday 6 August. It returned to London from Accra with another group of stranded passengers the following day.

The problem of leasing aircraft in the summer, a peak holiday season in Europe, has been compounded by the good weather being enjoyed in Europe, thus making everyone wanting to travel and thus making the availability of aircraft for lease difficult.

The journey times for the shuttle service would be confirmed on Monday, once the Boeing 767 is positioned in Accra. The London Office of Ghana Airways has earmarked a special telephone line to handle all enquiries on 020 7491 3802.