ACCRA, Ghana, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Republic of Ghana ("Government") and the U.S. consortium, GIA-USA, LLC ("GIA"), are pleased to announce that definitive agreements have been signed creating a new airline based in Accra, Ghana. The new airline will be the national air carrier of Ghana, replacing the old national airline, which is currently winding down. The new company is named Ghana International Airlines Limited ("GIAL").
The Board of Directors of GIAL has appointed a world class executive management team headed by Mr. J. Ralph Atkin, founder of SkyWest Airlines, Inc. in the USA, to immediately commence formation of the new airline with an impressive network of flights to and from Europe, North America and Africa using Kotoka International Airport in Accra as a hub.
Mr. Atkin has already commenced work on the necessary licenses, amendments to bilateral agreements, and entry into IATA and other international airline industry groups. Mr. Atkin stated: "While the formation process of the new airline took longer than anticipated, I am delighted that we can now focus on supplementing our senior management team to establish the solid foundation on which we will build a world class airline serving West Africa and points in Europe and North America."
Mr. Atkin and his executive team are continuing to work with potential strategic partners on code sharing agreements and other commercial arrangements in preparation for commencement of flight operations scheduled for the second quarter of 2005. Pre-sale of tickets should commence in March-April 2005. GIAL is now actively negotiating for the necessary aircraft to implement its business plan and anticipates an initial fleet of 8 to 10 wide and narrow body aircraft.
The winding down by the Government of the operations of the old national airline is continuing and it is expected that this process will be completed prior to GIAL's commencement of flight operations.
Both GIAL and the Government consider the creation of a viable, reliable airline in Ghana to be a critical component of the ongoing economic transformation already underway in Ghana. Resuming direct flights to and from the USA and improving service to and from Europe will establish Accra, Ghana as the ideal gateway to West Africa, which will stimulate economic growth and tourism in Ghana and the surrounding region.
The Republic of Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, achieved independence from England in 1957. Ghana is a West African country with a population of about 20 million people. The Ministry of Roads and Transport is responsible for the air-transport industry in the country.
Ghana International Airlines Limited is a Ghanaian corporation limited by shares. Its two shareholders are the Government and GIA-USA, LLC. GIAL is headquartered in Accra, Ghana.
About GIA-USA, LLC
GIA-USA, LLC is a limited liability company formed in the State of Utah, USA and is owned by several companies including: World Transport Group, Inc., a St. George, Utah based aviation consulting company (the president of which is J. Ralph Atkin, the founder of SkyWest Airlines, Inc.); and Sentry Investments, LLC, a Salt Lake City, Utah based investment company (which is an affiliate of Sentry Financial Corporation). World Transport Group, Inc. has substantial experience in the airline industry and Sentry has extensive expertise in providing financing in developing countries.
GIAL J. Ralph Atkin, CEO Email: [email protected]
R. Kirk Heaton, Deputy CEO Email: [email protected] Telephone: +1 801-303-1105
Andrew C. Bebbington, CFO Email: [email protected] Telephone: +1 801-303-1116
Republic of Ghana Honorable Minister Dr. Richard Anane Ministry of Roads and Transport Email: [email protected] Telephone: +233-21 668 340