The government of Ghana is trying to establish a new national airline, and plans to partner with EgyptAir to do so… or will it?
EgyptAir to start airline in Ghana
As reported by Aviation Ghana, this week the government of Ghana and EgyptAir signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see EgyptAir partnering with the government of Ghana to establish a new flag carrier.
Ghana has been without a national airline since 2010, and prior to that:
- Ghana International Airways went out of business in 2010
- Ghana Airways went out of business in 2004
- Third time’s the charm, I guess?
It’s suggested that EgyptAir is the best choice for this because the airline offered the best deal in terms of funding for the airline, including for routes, fleet, and personnel.
Ghana’s Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, said:
“We were looking out for what is best for Ghana in all our engagements with the potential partners.
This has come at a time when the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement is to come into effect early next year. Once the airline is set up, it is expected to play a key role in passenger and cargo transport within the continent and between Africa and other parts of the world.”
EgyptAir may help form a new airline in Ghana
What could this new flag carrier look like?
Details are limited as of now, though if I had to guess:
- I would assume that the government will be looking to EgyptAir to provide guidance on managing the airline
- At least in the short term it seems likely that planes would be leased from EgyptAir; while the long term goal is probably to employ Ghanaians, perhaps EgyptAir pilots and cabin crew would be used at first
- I would have to imagine the focus would go beyond regional travel, given that Africa World Airlines (AWA) already has a great regional network out of Ghana; if the airline chooses to fly long haul, I’d recommend they make Chicago the first destination, so they can beat Global Ghana Airlines to the punch 😉
Will this actually happen, though?
An MoU has been signed and there was a fancy ceremony where people held up EgyptAir-branded folders, so this must be a done deal, right? 😉
Well, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that Ghana has signed an MoU with an airline over a new national airline:
- In 2017, the government of Ghana signed an agreement with Air Mauritius for forming a new national airline
- In 2018, the government of Ghana signed an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines for forming a new national airline
- The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority also reported a while back that Turkish Airlines and Africa World Airlines were interested in this concept
- In 2019, the government of Ghana signed an MoU with Boeing for three Boeing 787-9s in anticipation of launching a new national airline; there has been no progress on that front
So, why the sudden EgyptAir announcement? Keep in mind that elections are coming up in Ghana in early December, and the government had promised a new national airline several years back. No progress had been made on that front, so is this new MoU with EgyptAir just intended to make it seem like things are moving along?
A similar agreement was signed with Ethiopian a couple of years back
The government of Ghana has signed an MoU with EgyptAir to form a new national airline in Ghana.
It’s highly questionable whether anything will actually come of this, though, given that the government had previously signed similar MoUs with other airlines. On top of that, the government signed an MoU with Boeing last year to purchase 787s, but nothing has come of that.
In my opinion, this isn't going to happen but I wish it would. While Nigeria is more populous and a larger airport, Ghana has less corruption. To make this work, Ghana would have to copy the "Hub and Spoke" model that the ME3 have deployed BUT use it to move Africans between the continent and the EU/North America/Middle East. They could also tap into the India>North America/EU traffic but will have to be priced well...
In my opinion, this isn't going to happen but I wish it would. While Nigeria is more populous and a larger airport, Ghana has less corruption. To make this work, Ghana would have to copy the "Hub and Spoke" model that the ME3 have deployed BUT use it to move Africans between the continent and the EU/North America/Middle East. They could also tap into the India>North America/EU traffic but will have to be priced well below the ME3 for Indians to even consider it. Accra Intl doesn't have all the razzle dazzle (large lounges, recognizable eateries, etc) of Dubai Intl or Doha Intl nor the EU airports. Plus they'll have to contend with the perception that they would be inferior to the ME3 or EU carriers to woo South West Asians.
Most of the African based carriers are not part of one of the big alliance groups and if they fly internationally it's just local international flights. Many countries don't have a national carrier and don't have planes for their high officials. Some even fly business class in commercial flights. I think that even if this doesn't last long it's a good sign. We need a few big carriers on the continent rather than a bunch of small ones.
Wondering how EgyptAir can pay the back kick......
@Sean M thoughts?
Two basket cases ... a perfect fit
And the pie in the sky will inevitably fall.
And land on a Ghanian voters face.
Three times the charm is about right - more pie in the sky me thinks