The Government of Ghana has chosen Ashanti Airlines as a strategic investor in its pursuit to establish a new national carrier.
The deal with Ashanti Airlines is now finalized, with the last stages of the financial agreements left to be completed by the government’s new partner, according to an AviationGhana report.
Ashanti Airlines is now seeking to hire employees as it plans to carry out the final stages of acquiring an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to commence operations by the end of 2022, the report continues.
Ashanti Airlines wins bid, over EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines and JNH Group
Ghana’s aviation industry has been without a national carrier for 12 years, following the collapse of former national airlines Ghana Airways in 2004, and Ghana International Airlines, six years later in 2010.
After years of unsuccessful attempts to attract partners to resurrect a new home-based airline, hopes for a new national carrier materialized in May 2022, with the Ghanaian government announcing plans to name a new partner from a list of potential suitors.
On this list of suitors, were Ashanti Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines and financial firm JNH Group.
Ashanti Airlines itself is based in Ghana and is owned by local business magnates Osei Kwame Despite, co-founder of the Despite Group of Companies and his partner, Ernest Ofori Sarpong.
EgyptAir, the state-owned flag carrier of Egypt, operates from its hub at Cairo International Airport. Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines is an East-African airline and aviation group. JNH Group is a Ghanaian management consultancy firm and brokerage.
However, despite the plausible edge in the competition and prestige offered by other suitors, Ashanti Airlines was favored to win the bid.
Ambitious fleet plan, Ghana’s new flag carrier sets sights beyond Africa’s horizon
During the 2019 Dubai Airshow, the Ghanaian government signed a provisional order to acquire three Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Alongside the airline’s desire to accommodate long-haul routes, the airline expects to service its domestic and regional services within Ghana and Africa with a fleet of up to six Dash 8-400 aircraft.
Ghana’s Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, explained the need to connect Ghanaians to destinations in Europe, North America, and Asia.
“There is a growing demand for air travel to and from Ghana and we believe the advanced 787-9 Dreamliner gives us an efficient and flexible machine to launch a regional network and eventually serve international destinations in the future,” said Adda in a statement from Boeing.