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14.06.2005 Business & Finance

GIA to Fly Next Month


...another postponment? The Ghana International Airline Limited (GIAL) has put in place all the necessary logistics and facilities to enable the airline to begin its operations next month.

It will start off on the regional routes, plying Conakry, Bamako, Ouagadougou, Banjul, Freetown and Monrovia.

The airline would also ply the long haul in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, one of the continent's most reliable airlines.

Presently, Radixx International, an international reservation software and hosting company based in Florida, has been engaged to complete the automation of the airline's operations.

Radixx International will automate the ticketing, reservation and sales operations of the airline.

In line with this, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Radixx, Mr Ronald J. Peri made a dummy presentation of the system to members of the Ghana Distribution System Limited (GDS), which oversees the distribution of reservations for airlines in the country.

He said the airline would make it possible for people, especially agents to buy tickets or book reservations electronically.

“Radixx has helped resurrect six airlines that were almost on the verge of collapse through the automation of their systems,” Mr Peri said.

“When an airline's system is automated, travellers would have the opportunity to buy their tickets with either credit, debit or re-load cards through the various Western Union money transfer systems currently in operation in the country,” he added.

Mr Peri said automating the systems would enable GIAL to have better control of the airline's finances. He said automating the system would also help to solve the problem of overbooking as well as eliminate fraud in the airline's operations.

According to Mr Peri, “installing the software will also help GIAL to keep track of its inventory as well as eliminate hidden cost that is predominant in the airline business.”

The software expert also said, it would be possible for the airline to make tickets less expensive since the system would eliminate the chain of middlemen that currently existed.

Mr Peri, however, stated that travel agents would not be left out when the airline commences its operations. He added that the services of the agents were a crucial element in making the airline survive, particularly at a time when the industry had become very competitive.

The Media Relations Officer of GIAL, Mr Sammy Crabe, said GIAL was still at the implementation stage and was doing everything possible to ensure that it commenced operations on schedule.

He said currently the Special Assistant to the CEO, Mr Sean Mendis, was in Berlin, Germany, participating in a slot conference, where he would negotiate for schedules in Frankfurt, Heathrow, Dusseldorf, Johannesburg and Accra.

The GIAL's Vice-President, Operations, Mr Albert Vitale, who is also in the country to help finalise measures for the take-off of the airline, assured Ghanaians that GIAL would be the best thing to happen to the country's aviation industry.”