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08.09.2004 Business & Finance

PriceWaterhouseCoopers To Advise On Ghanair Debt

By Graphic

Government has appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers, an accounting firm, to advise it on the re-scheduling of the debt of the Ghana Airways. The task force, which was set up some few weeks ago, is expected to wind down the operations of the airline for a new management to take office next month.

Dr. Richard Anane, Roads and Transport Minister, who announced these at a press briefing in Accra yesterday said government would own 70 per cent stake in the new airline, while GIA take the remaining 30 per cent.

He further confirmed an earlier publication by the Graphic that Mr Ralph Atkin, founder of Skywest Airlines in the USA, would be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the new company.

The country's troubled airline had over the past months been inundated with a barrage of problems including a debt of more than $162 million. The problems of the airline was, however, compounded when many of its passengers got stranded in Accra, Baltimore in the United States of America (USA), London in Britain and Dusseldorf in Germany and the withdrawal of the licence of the airline to fly to the USA.

Under the new parnership deal announced by the minister, a new airline aimed at redeeming the corporate image of the company, would replace the existing Ghana Airways.

The minister said the transition from the old to the new airline had just commenced and it was anticipated that this process would be completed later this year.

He added that commercial operations of the new airline, including the operation of a modern fleet of aircraft and a daily flight to Europe and the USA were also anticipated to commence in the first quarter of next year.

According to the minister, the new company would be used as the platform to raise new equity, debt and equipment financing of approximately US $55 million for the new airline.

Dr. Anane said the GIA bid was considered the most favourable by government, as against that of three other short-listed companies, including the KLM Group and the Ghana Air Partners, as government's aim was to seek for a risk management partnership to revamp Ghana Airways.

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