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Mark Ofosu: Key expectations for Ghana’s commercial aviation in 2021

Forecast by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggests that the global aviation industry’s full recovery compared to that of 2019 levels is not expected anytime soon until 2024.

In spite of these projections, domestically, Ghana seems to have made some strong gains in the aviation sector recovery even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

As days go by in 2021, this article seeks to highlight some key events that are expected to take place in Ghana’s commercial aviation circle.

South African Airways to resume operations

After years of battling with financial and managerial issues which led to the temporary suspension of its operations in 2020, South African Airways will be expected to resume its scheduled flights from Accra to Johannesburg and Washington DC.

A six-member board which was established last year by the South African Government is expected to help in the re-positioning of the airline for commercial operations relaunch this year.

Additional Option for Passengers Travelling to United States

United Airlines is expected to commence operations this year in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Last year, the airline indicated that plans are far advanced in seeking regulatory approval from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for operations in the first quarter of 2021.

United plans of servicing the Washington – Accra route from the Dulles International Airport, with three weekly flights.

With the re-emergence of United, which operated some years back in Ghana, passengers will now have more options to choose between United, Delta and South African Airways when planning travels to the United States with competitive booking offers in mind.

United is an American-based airline which ranks amongst the top five largest airlines in the world in terms of fleet size.

vflyAir to Operate Scheduled Flights between Accra and Other African Markets

Similar to the case of United Airlines, vflyAir also plans of setting up commercial business in Ghana in the first quarter of 2021. Per what is known, vflyAir plans of operating cargo and passenger services in some key West Africa (Accra, Abidjan, Dakar), Central Africa (Libreville, Kinshasa), North Africa (Tunis, Cairo) and Southern Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda) markets.

Something Tangible, more than Hope for National Carrier

After the collapse of Ghana Airways over a decade ago, Ghanaians will be expecting more from the government in the establishment and operationalization of a national carrier.