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19.10.2019 Feature Article

Does Ghana Need A National Carrier That Is A PPP With A Low-Cost Airline Business Model?

Does Ghana Need A National Carrier That Is A PPP With A Low-Cost Airline Business Model?
LISTEN OCT 19, 2019

Typical. One gathers that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are apparently now arguing over which of them should take the credit for the rating of our nation's capital Accra's international airport, as the best and most efficient airport in West Africa. Imagine that.

Yet, when it comes to the aviation sector of our national economy, what we actually need - now that Africa is one open sky for the continent's airline industry - is a new Ghana Airways, which is a PPP (70/30 in the strategic partner's favour), with a low-cost carrier business model, with new jet planes and global network, such as that which the very profitable low-cost carrier, Norwegian Long Haul has. It will boost our tourism industry, no end.

The question is: Will that not gjve us the opportunity to dominate Africa's airline industry's single market, by offering travellers with low cost point-to-point flights to and from Accra, which links us with all the major cities across Africa - as well, as with major cities in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia: opening up their outbound tourism markets to us at the stroke of the pen that signs such a super-creative PPP with Norwegian Long Haul?

In light of all the above, is it not strange that the geniuses who now govern us signed a curious PPP agreement with Ethiopian Airlines (90/10 stakes in Ethiopian Airlines' favour) to fly domestically in Ghana? What exactly is the point of such a daft deal - if not just to enable a powerful few to enrich themselves at Mother Ghana’s expense? Incredible. What amazing poverty of thought.

Finally, I challenge Ghana's current minister for aviation, Hon. Kofi Addah, to invite Norwegian Long Haul's co-founder, Bjoern Kjos, who has just stepped down as its CEO, and is now an advisor to the airline's board's chairperson, and the company's just-appointed acting CEO, Geir Karlsen, to Ghana, to hold discussions about the possibility of a new PPP partnership with Ghana (70/30 stakes in their favour), for a new Pan-African low-cost carrier. Hon. Addah might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of such an exploratory meeting. Hmmmm, Oman Ghana - eyeasem oooo: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. Yooooo. Hmmmm...

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2019

The author has 661 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KofiThompson

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