More airlines apply to operate to Ghana

Aug 29, 2017

A number of international and regional airlines have applied to the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for certification to operate flights to and from Accra, largely as a result of the on-going investments in on-ground infrastructure.

The airports operators, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), has also received similar requests from airlines seeking to operate scheduled flights to and from the Kotoka International Airport (KIA). These, when granted, will increase the number of airlines operating in the country to over 32.

Managing Director of the GACL, Mr. John Dekyem Attafuah, told the B&FT on the side lines of the company’s recent Annual General Meeting that: “We get them [requests] every day, but they all have to go through GCAA. If GCAA says you cannot fly, it doesn’t matter what we do, it is out. There are a lot of [applications] with GCAA.”

The GACL is currently investing heavily in various on-ground infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport and other regional airports in the country.

The new terminal under construction at KIA, Terminal Three (T3), is designed to accommodate five million passengers a year and will process 1,250 passengers an hour. It will also have six boarding bridges.

A new runway for the Kumasi Airport has also been completed and the construction of a new bigger terminal building is expected to commence soon. “[With Kumasi] pretty soon the contractor is meeting with our team, and soon we will start construction works at Kumasi.

Tamale, the same situation, we are almost ready to take off but I think Kumasi may take off earlier than Tamale because of some developments there,” Mr. Attafuah said.

GH¢153million profit declared for 2016

The GACL posted a profit after tax of GH¢153 million for the year ended 31 December, 2016.

The profit declared by the company, which is one of the few State-owned enterprises with a strong balance sheet, was however 13 percent lower than its 2015 profit of GH¢ 176 million.

Mr. Attafuah, at the 5th Annual General Meeting of the company said: “Basically, substantial operational cost was the main attribute to lower profit.”

The company, which is presently heavily reliant on aeronautical revenue is seeking to change the narrative by growing its non-aeronautical revenue through various land side developments in the years ahead.

“Some of the things we will do for example, is the development of the land side such as having hotels, malls and industrial free zones.

These are some of the things that we think when we do, will help us grow our non-aeronautical incomes. But for now, we are dependent on aeronautical income and we think that is not good enough. We want to move towards the kind of situation where aeronautical and non- aeronautical revenue streams are almost at par,” Mr. Attafuah added.

In spite of lower profit for the year under review, GACL’s liquidity of 6.9 and 5.7 in 2016 and 2015 respectively was sufficient to cover current contractual commitments.

The total capitalization of GACL has improved considerably to GH¢ 5.8 billion in 2016 compared to GH¢ 2.2 billion in 2015.

New nine-member Board

The reconstituted nine-member Board of the GACL has officially been sworn into office by the Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, with the mandate to grow the state-owned airports operator.

The Board is chaired by Mrs. Oboshie Sai Cofie, a former Minister of Information and National Orientation under the Kufuor administration and an astute communications consultant.

Other members of the Board include: Mr. John Dekyem Attafuah, Managing Director, GACL; Mr. Kwabena Addo Atuah; Ambassador Kwasi Baah Boakye; Mr. Kofi Owusu Sekyere; Mr. Kwesi Fynn; Mr. Kojo Addae Mensah; Mrs. Comfort Boohene Osafo; and Mr. Prosper Amewu.

“On behalf of the Board, I extend our sincere appreciation to the entire management and staff of Ghana Airports Company Limited for their invaluable contribution to the continuing success story of the organisation. I sincerely thank His Excellency the President for the opportunity to serve,” Mrs. Sai Cofie said.

Source: Dominick Andoh l thebftonline l Ghana

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