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14.12.2010 Business & Finance

Virgin Atlantic Salutes Ghana

By Daily Guide
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Barely seven months after pitching camp in Ghana, Virgin Atlantic Airline has not regretted the business decision as the airline's management gives a thumbs up to prevailing business environment in the country.

The hint was dropped when a high profile management delegation from the Virgin Atlantic Group engaged a section of the local media to discuss the journey so far and plans for the future.

In attendance were Paul Dickenson, Global Director of Sales & Marketing, Jon Harding, GM-International & Distribution, Nick Taylor, Regional Country Manager-West Africa (Africa Representative) and Tosan Woode, Head of Sales and Marketing, Ghana.

The congenial atmosphere, the management noted, will see the airline introducing exclusive features in their operations in line with their programme of enticing customers who taste Virgin Atlantic.

During an engagement with a section of the local media, the airline's Director of Sales & Marketing, Paul Dickenson announced plans to introduce new features onboard flights so that customers' faith in the company would remain consistent.

Virgin Atlantic, he stated, is not a national airline and seeks to increase the capacity of existing routes adding 'once a passenger flies with us he would stay with us. We are innovative and would be introducing a new aircraft next year.'

The expected delivery of Boeing 787s, he said, has been delayed by the manufacturers, Boeing.

He said the airline will address passenger weight in order to reduce fuel and save the environment.

On the recent tax regimes pertaining to air travel he said 'we can live with the taxes. Air travel has always been a soft spot for taxes.

Jon Harding, GM, International & Distribution, a recipient of an OBE told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE that having operated for the seven months they are satisfied with the signs.

He said conditions are so attractive in the country, adding that Ghana is currently the only route where an expansion programme is going on.

The Ghanaian authorities, he said, have been supportive of business in terms of airspace security and other demands of airline operation 'and we are very grateful. Here we are today on a profit situation.'

Ghanaian travelers, he observed, have an additional advantage in terms of the extra luggage based on the assumption that they would like to take more stuff back home, a peculiar feature of Virgin Atlantic.

We are the first airline to use organic fuel and recycle 50 per cent of onboard waste, he touted, describing it as a social responsibility of the airline.

Ms. Tosan Woode added that Virgin Atlantic is supportive of a number of local initiatives towards bettering the living conditions of the people.

By A.R. Gomda

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