Goldstar Airlines has accused the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority of unduly delaying its operations.
It says some elements at the Authority are also resulting in losses for the airline in the non-operation of leased equipment and staff salaries.
Travel Agency, Seasons Travel and Tours International, operators of Goldstar Airlines said they have acquired all necessary documentation and equipment to commence operations but for the inspection of the operating company’s maintenance and operational facilities which is to be undertaken by the GCAA.
The GCAA is supposed to nominate some officials to inspect the airline’s equipment towards the issuance of an Air Transport Organizers Licence (ATOL).
“For a charter airline, we have satisfied all the necessary conditions as stipulated by the Ghana Tourist Board who handle all accreditation for charter airlines,” Eric Bannerman, Goldstar Airline chief, told the B&FT. “The GCAA now have to assign safety officials to inspect our equipment. The cost of travel to the USA by GCAA inspectors and Goldstar Airlines officials as well as the license fee is about $30,000 and we are ready to pay.”
According to Eric Bannerman, Goldstar Airlines has leased a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 – a three-engine medium- to long-range wide-body jet airliner- for operations.
“For every day the airline goes without flying, our company makes losses which I am not willing to disclose at the moment and you know how marginal profits are already in the industry,” he said.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority has outlined distinct requirements for companies willing to venture into charter and scheduled airlines.
The GCAA says companies or individuals may charter aircraft for hire or reward on ad-hoc basis provided it has, among other requirements, received recommendation from the Tourist Board and the company has provided to them an agreement between them and the chatterer.
“We have already received recommendation from the Ghana Tourist Board,” Eric Bannerman said. “The technical side which is the inspection of our equipment is to be carried out by the GCAA before the Tourist Board can issue the ATOL to us to commence operations. The GCAA is unduly delaying the whole process.”
Goldstar Airlines is set to ply Accra- Baltimore (USA), London (UK) and Guangzhou (China) routes in June this year, however, it is yet to satisfy the fourth condition stipulated by the GCAA which requires that the Goldstar’s maintenance and operational facilities be inspected.
Business Development and Statistics Manager at the GCAA, Stephen Wilfred Arthur told the B&FT that he had to seek mandate from the Director the Authority address the issue, and will lay all the facts bare at the appropriate time as to why Goldstar Airlines have not yet been granted the Air Transport Organizers License.
By: Michael Thompson/citifmonline.com/Ghana