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03.01.2006 General News

Adopt radical approach to airline safety - Mangera

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Accra, Jan. 3, GNA - Mr Abdul Aziz Mangera, Managing Director for Lufthansa West Africa Office on Tuesday called for a radical approach to airline safety in the sub-region saying, it was a sure way of ensuring a sustainable industry in the region.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Business Desk in Accra, on airline safety, Mr Mangera was optimistic that airlines within the sub-region had the potential of making a huge impact on their operations.

The interview was also to examine Lufthansa's performance in Africa, prospects for the New Year and how the airline intends to manage the rising costs of fuel on the airline industry as a whole.

Mr Mangera noted that safety in the airline industry was not just paramount, but was key under all circumstances "in ensuring that passenger's lives, families and property are carried from one destination to the other with the utmost care."

He said airlines could build reputation and credibility as critical ingredients in business practice.

The Managing Director said "airline disasters all over the world are hardly expected but happen anyway, and detailed maintenance after flights is one way forward to forestall disasters."

Mr Mangera said it was vital to have a strong national airline or airlines to operate within the area feeding into the major airlines. He welcomed the entrance of Ghana International Airlines on to the market and expressed the hope that it would rise to the occasion and become that hub for transporting passengers within the sub-region. He described Lufthansa as holding course, despite the turbulent times and soaring oil prices, adding that, "we have utilized our market and grown profitably."

Quoting the company's group results, Mr Mangera said group profits hit 471 million euros up from 220 million euros in the first nine months of last year.

Profit after tax rose sharply in parallel to 416 million euros, indicating that full year operating profit is expected to hit over 400 million euros.

He said the airline was currently debt-free with liquid funds of more than four billion euros.

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