Airlines from Spain and Portugal have expressed interest in flying into Ghana, Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Air Commodore Kwame Mamphey has said.The desire of the aforementioned countries carriers to operate flights into Ghana, according to Cmdr. Mamphey, is not only a demonstration of the confidence the rest of the world have gained in the strength and continued growth of the Ghanaian economy, but also an “indication of the lucrative nature of the Ghanaian and the West African air routes.”
Cmdr. Mamphey made this remark at the first meeting between the ECOWAS Commission and the European Union (EU) Commission, for negotiations on certain aspects of air transport services.
Cmdr. Mamphey said consultations are still ongoing and expressed the hope that it would be finalized by the first quarter to enable them commence operations in the country.
Their entry he said, would further compliment the operations of existing airlines in the sub-region to give affordable fares, reliability and punctuality, good customer service and higher standard of safety and security to the travelling public.
Ghana has in recent years seen growth in the number of airlines operating flights into the country. Among them are; Virgin Atlantic, Air Namibia, United and Delta Airlines of the USA, Brussels Air of Belgium, Turkish Airline, KLM and Lufthansa.
However, the Director-General expressed some concerns about ECOWAS relations with some European countries.
According to him, the manner in which air carriers in the ECOWAS States have been excluded from the European air transport markets using “measures such as black-listing, emission trading schemes and slots” has thwarted efforts by the two regional blocs on reaching an agreement.
He expressed the hope that the concerned raised would be factored into the discussions in order to establish a fair and reciprocal air traffic services by air carriers from member states in the two regional blocs.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, speaking at the event urged member states to use negotiations to obtain safeguards and other benefits that would help maintain and sustain effective participation of the ECOWAS air carriers in international air transport between the two regional blocs.