Forget Emirates ordering 50 Airbus A350-900s at the Dubai Airshow yesterday, this is much more interesting.
Ghana Intends To Order Three 787-9s
The Republic of Ghana has announced that they intend to relaunch a national airline. The country and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding for three Boeing 787-9s, at a list price of $877.5 million (though there are always discounts).
Now, the first thing worth noting is that you shouldn’t put too much weight on stuff like this until the order is finalized, because memorandums of understanding are constantly changed.
Joseph Kofi Adda, the Minister of Aviation and Member of Parliament of Ghana, said the following:
“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. The 787 has an excellent reputation for its operational performance, fuel efficiency and passenger experience and we are confident that we have the right partner for our new carrier.”
The plan is for Accra to be used as a hub from which to serve destinations in West Africa. Future routes would include destinations in Europe, North America, and Asia, with a long-term goal of opening the airline to private investment and operation.
I have a couple of initial thoughts on this:
- If their goal is to initially operate regional flights, starting a new airline with 787-9s seems… a bit excessive
- If they are absolutely committed to getting widebodies, it seems completely unjustifiable to buy brand new 787-9s, when there are used widebodies that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost
Aviation In Ghana
Ghana International Airlines was the former national airline of Ghana, and they suspended operations in 2010. They had a single Boeing 757-200, and they flew to Dusseldorf, Johannesburg, and London.
Since then, we’ve seen both some awesome airline developments in Ghana, and less awesome ones.
But then you also have some success stories. For example, Africa World Airlines commenced operations in 2012, and they operate a fleet of eight ERJ-145s. They have a fantastic safety record, they’ve grown sustainably, and they’re profitable.
I’ll be curious to see if this 787-9 order actually gets finalized, or if this is simply one of those memorandums of understanding that doesn’t amount to anything.
If the goal is to initially launch a regional African airline, I can’t wrap my head around how this is the best way to go about it.
What do you think the odds are of Ghana’s national airline relaunching, especially with 787-9s?
(Tip of the hat to James & @IshrionA)