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20.10.2005 Business & Finance

All Set For GIA’s Maiden Flight

By Graphic
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Accra, Graphic, 20 Oct. 2006 -- All is set for Ghana International Airlines(GIA)Limited to begin its long haul return service between Accra-London-Accra from Saturday, October 29,2005. The flight which will commence from Accra to Gatwick on a daily basis with a leased Boeing 757-300ER will be GIA's maiden flight after it was formed a year ago.
Tickets for the maiden and subsequent flights have been on sale for about a month now at an introductory fare of $398. During a familiarisation tour of its premises at which journalists were briefed on its operations and the forthcoming flight,the Vice-President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, Mr Sammy Crabbe, said the airline would also launch its services to Dusseldorf,New York and other intra-African routes in 2006. “GIA's vision is to be the leading and most respected airline in Africa,” he said. To ensure passenger comfort, Mr Crabbe said the 200 seater plane had been reconfigured into 160 seats made up of 144 economy and 16 business class. According to Mr Crabbe,two 767-300ER aircraft and MD 90s would be added to GIA's fleet of aircraft in January to boost their business operations, both on the international and regional routes. The Vice President of Operations,Mr Albert Vitale,said to ensure that the airline became efficient, it was going to ensure that it re-trained its staff so that they gave their maximum best. He said quality was going to be the hallmark of the company's operations adding that a high level of safety as well as reliability would be the standard by which they would operate. Mr Vital noted that GIA would in the near future, set up a maintenance unit that would service its aircraft as well as others in the sub-region. GIA is the new national carrier formed in partnership between the government of Ghana which has an equity share of 70 per cent and a consortium of international private investors who owe the remaining shares.
The airline which was incorporated in the country in 2004, was awarded an Air Carrier License number 197 by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority on December 31, 2004.
It was also awarded the three-letter code "GHB" (Golf-Hotel-Bravo) by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) while International Air Transport Association (IATA) also awarded it the two-letter code "GO" (Golf Zero).
It received the designation of "national carrier" from the Ministry of Road Transport and is awaiting to be awarded the "designated carrier" status which will enable it to utilise Ghana's right under bilateral air service agreements with 47 countries around the world.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) also issued GIA with an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to commence business and an operating permit to enable it to code-share with Ethiopian Airlines and Lufthansa on the Accra-Lagos-Accra route and with KLM on the Accra-Amsterdam-Accra route.