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06.09.2004 Business & Finance

New Ghanair CEO Takes Office Next Month

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New  Ghanair CEO Takes Office Next Month
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Company to be registered when partnership materialises The founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Skywest Airlines, one of the most successful regional airlines in the United States, Mr Ralph Atkin, takes over as the new boss of the nations distressed airline, Ghana Airways, from next month. Mr Atkin, a certified private pilot, who holds a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree and Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting, had served on the boards of many internationally acclaimed airlines, including Fairchild Aircraft Incorporated of San Antonio, Texas. Sources close to the government said Mr Atkin would run the airline, together with Mr Albert Vitale, Vice-President of World Transport Group, an aviation consulting group based in Utah, and Mr Andrew C. Beddington, Senior Vice President of Investments, Sentry Financial Corporation, a diversified financial services company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Ghana International Airline (GIA), a United States-based consortium, made up of the World Transport Group, Sentry Financial International and some Ghanaian businessmen, about a month ago, received the nod to be the strategic partner of Ghana Airways. Under the terms, the government would own 70 per cent stake, with the remaining 30 per cent going to the GIA. The GIA bid was considered the most favourable of three other short-listed companies, including the KLM Group and the Ghana Air Partners. The coming in of GIA would be the first time that Ghana Airways had gone into a risk management partnership deal to propel the airline. Over the period 1978-2001, the company had contracted the services of management consultancy firms to advise management on the operations of the airline. According to the source, the coming in of GIA marked the beginning of a new Ghana Airways adding that Ghana Airways would hopefully be put on track by the end of the year. The source further stated that the commercial operations of new and modern fleet of the airline were expected to begin early next year. The source said GIA was a “special purpose vehicle” made up of credible and legally constituted companies and was established for the purpose of venturing into a partnership with Ghana Airways. The source went further to explain that GIA WOULD BE fully registered in Ghana as a company when the partnership materialised. According to the source, through the partnership, Ghana Airways would be able to establish no-frills airlines to reduce cost of air travels, as well as create a hub in Accra by establishing a stronger regional coverage in the sub-region.

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