GHANA – Ghana is set to get a new national airline, Air Ghana, which will be operated by Egypt Air with an expected commencement in a couple of months’ time.
According to Roshdy Zakaria, chief executive officer of EgyptAir Holding Co., EgyptAir will provide four Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft to the Accra-based airline in which it will have a 75 percent share, Zakaria told reporters in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirates of the UAE.
The airline will be based in the capital of Ghana, Accra, and 75 percent of its shares will be held by Egypt while the rest will be owned by Ghana.
The official explained that legal and financial measures are being finalized for the execution to begin, and that current workers at EgyptAir companies will keep their job titles after the restructuring.
President Akufo-Addo in his State of the Nation’s Address early this month, announced that cabinet had granted policy approval for establishing a new carrier with strategic partner participation. He however gave no further details, except to say that parliament would be “duly informed on developments in this area”.
The company is also in talks with Sudan Airways, the troubled state carrier of Egypt’s southern neighbor, for an initiative that might involve establishing a transport hub, Zakaria said.
“To spread in Africa, that is our main goal. When we have a hub somewhere in the middle of Africa that will give us a chance to reach,” new destinations. the CEO said.
The North African airline is seeking more than US$300 million in additional government aid though the government provided US$318 million in loans last year.
The plans come as EgyptAir, like most global carriers, battles the coronavirus’ impact on global travel. The government provided 5 billion pounds (US$318 million) in loans in 2020 and the airline is asking for 5 billion-7 billion pounds in similar assistance this year to pay salaries, loans and aircraft leases, Zakaria said.
EgyptAir is also studying the possibility of taking over a flight service to Israel provided by Air Sinai, the only airline that currently has direct flights between Cairo and Tel Aviv, according to the CEO.
The carrier’s traffic is currently 40-50 percent of its pre-pandemic level in 2019, with hopes that will rise to 75 percent this year, Zakaria said.
EgyptAir currently operates scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.