20.04.2005 Business & Finance

Afra Airlines – investments under threat

By Afra Airlines
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14th April, 2005 His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor President of Ghana Accra,

Dear Sir, Re: Afra Airlines – investments under threat I am writing to you to ask for an urgent audience to meet with you to discuss the issue of the investments which we have made in Ghana and which are currently under threat. We have invested $8.5M in establishing Afra Airlines in Ghana to date. We currently employ 40 staff who are predominantly Ghanaian. We have a further 100 staff as cabin attendants ready to be employed.

Afra Airlines was formed in March 2004 and in May 2004 applied for its Air Carrier's License which was finally issued on 6th January 2005 with highly restricted conditions that were in conflict to the business plan which we submitted and which was approved by the GCAA as part of our license review. Precisely we submitted that we would be bringing Boeing 747 passenger and 747 cargo aircraft for long haul international routes to be served from Ghana to develop Accra as a hub for Africa.

Afra's ACL was issued approving us for B747 passenger and freighter operations but restricted as follows:- 747 Freighter international worldwide non-scheduled only – this means we cannot build any regular business as every trip must be to a different destination; 747 Passenger domestic services scheduled only – this means we should only fly our nominated and approved 747 domestically. This is not viable. Even this highly restricted license has been suspended since 4th February following our announcement on 3rd February that we intended to have a commercial cooperation with CTK CityLink Airlines to assist them to offer domestic and West Coast of Africa services. We are informed the reason was for there to be security investigations. We have no answers to our many and frequent requests to have the facts and the findings put clearly before us.

Each month since 4th February we pay outgoings of 100M cedis for staff and overheads. We have our investment under threat. All our enquiries appear to be blocked. Sir, as the father of the Nation who has called for investment, and we have come as investors, I am requesting this audience with you as a matter of highest urgency.

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