Suit against airlines over disability discrimination is shocking-AWA

Africa World Airlines (AWA) has expressed shock at being hurled to court by the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) over discrimination against persons with disabilities.

The GSPD has dragged three local airlines Antrak Air, Starbow Airlines and Africa World Airlines to court for discriminating against persons with disabilities by way of refusing to sell flight tickets to them.

GSPD has also sued the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and wants the court, in their case, to restrain them from overlooking, and or refusing to ensure that the other respondents comply with Section 28 (1) of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715).

GSPD is also seeking an interlocutory injunction against the three airlines not to deny such persons who desire to travel on their aircraft services, pending the determination of a substantive suit.

A member of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled Elivis Alikpui who spoke to Citi Business News on the matter said they will pursue the matter to the later.

“The problem is we were discriminated against by our local airlines and we will sue them as we have done. I feel being discriminated against; I can also see that there is no possibility for we the persons with disability to be onboard domestic flights in the country to any part of Ghana and I feel discriminated against per the section 6 and 7 of the disability act 715 this case must be in court.”He said.

According to him the instructions from IATA ‘is not my problem but what we are working with is the Ghanaian laws because I do not know any international organization who says disabled people should not be carried by the airlines or carried by their staff’.

But speaking to Citi Business News the Chief Operations Officer of African World Airlines Apiigy Afenu denied the accusations adding that the company is on record to have airlifted persons with disabilities.

“I don’t know why they included us in this lawsuit, because we are on record and the other airlines are also on record to have carried physically challenged passengers.”

Chief Operations Officer of Africa World Airlines said if there was one instance that this didn’t happen he thought there was a more amicable way of solving this case then resulting to the court.

“You know at the end of the day lawyers become rich at our expense. We even carried some high profile physically challenge passengers like Ivor Greenstreet, we carried him all the way to Lagos and back so I don’t know where this one is coming from.”

By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/