Wholly owned Ghanaian Airline, Goldstar Air is set to commence operations by the third quarter of this year.
Citi Business News understands the airline which has been battling with issues of clearance from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority for about two years now, has finally commenced processes for its Air Carrier License.The move when completed will also clear the way for it to obtain the Air Operator certificate and subsequently commence operations.
The company which announced operations in 2014, was met with initial registration challenges as it was to engage in charter flights.
Per the GCAA’s regulations, companies or individuals may charter aircraft for hire or reward on ad-hoc basis provided they have, among other requirements, received recommendation from the Tourist Board and the company has provided them with an agreement between itself and the chatterer.
Commenting on the latest development, the Chief Executive Officer of GoldStar Air, Eric Bannerman told Citi Business News the company has made payment of about 17,000 dollars to facilitate the inspection of its aircraft by the GCAA.
“We have paid for the inspection of our aircraft which is almost 17,000 dollars and we are just waiting for the certificate to enable us commence operations. This is because you would have to first obtain the Air Carrier License before the Air Operator Certificate then once the GCAA inspects the Aircraft then you are set to commence operations from there,” he said.
Mr. Bannerman also tells Citi Business News processes will be initiated next month to select the cabin crew for further training by GCAA.
“We had over 5000 applicants and we are taking about 70 of them. We have contacted the Ghana Air Force for some Air Marshalls and they have written back to us and we would have to pay them for the training for our staff who will be on every flight going out of Accra,” he explained.
“Initially we were trying to train the cabin crew for free since we were bringing in people from outside the country but the GCAA informed us they would rather have to engage in the training so we would have to permit that and reimburse them later,” he added.
Following the issuance of an Air Carrier License, Goldstar Air will then be provided with an Air Operator Certificate and subsequently clearance to commence operations.
All these processes Citi Business News understands should ideally last between two to three months given the necessary compliance of the Airline company in question.
When everything goes through, Goldstar Air will be embarking on international flights to London, Baltimore, Guangzhou as well as Dubai.
The airline will also embark on some regional flights to Banjul, Dakar, Conakry, Monrovia and Freetown.
Three domestic airlines to miss out on third quarter resumption timeline
The commencement of the operations of Goldstar Air in the third quarter is likely to coincide with the time frame the GCAA earlier indicated for some domestic airlines that have suspended operations for over two years now, to resume.
The three airline companies; Antrak Air, Royal Fly Gh and Citi Link suspended their operations for varied reasons leaving only two; Africa World Airlines and Starbow Airlines to operate.
But Citi Business News’ sources indicate that the three airline companies may not resume as scheduled since they are yet to complete the processes for onward clearance from the regulator, the GCAA.
Ghana searches partner for national airline
The development also comes at a time when the country is searching for a partner for its national airline.
An initial evaluation conducted by the transaction advisors, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), suggested Qatar Airways as a preferred partner for Ghana’s National Airline.
The Ministry of Transport recently opened for an expression of interest to invite prospective strategic partners for the national airline.
Chief Director of the Ministry of Transport, Twumasi Ankrah – Selby, told Citi Business News.
“When we receive the bid hopefully by the end of 24th of June this year, we will then conduct an evaluation and short list the credible ones among them, based on their response to the criteria that we set in our expression of interest, shortlisted airlines will be given request of proposal then they can formally submit bids which will be considered for the selection of the airline,” he observed.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana