Prime News Ghana

Minority questions Gov't decision to buy three Boeing aircraft for new national airline

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

The minority in Parliament has questioned government decision to buy three aeroplanes from Boeing company with a list price value of $877.5 million.

According to the ranking member on Parliament's Roads and Transport Committee Kwame Agboza, there are reports that indicated that Ghana is not capable of handling its own airline, therefore, needs collaboration with an existing airline company. 

Ghana signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The Boeing Company and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada for the purchase of aeroplanes as part of efforts to relaunch an international airline.

The MoU was signed on Tuesday, November 19 at the Dubai Air Show.

According to a statement issued by Boeing, three of the aeroplanes with a list price value of $877.5 million are to be bought from Boeing.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd on its part also said on Tuesday that it has obtained 11 more orders for its Dash 8-400 plane at the Dubai Airshow, as it revives the recently acquired turboprop business from Bombardier Inc.

READ ALSO : Ghana to buy six aircraft for new national airline

Aurora, a subsidiary of Aeroflot-Rossiyskiye Avialinii PAO, signed a letter of intent to purchase up to five Dash 8-400 aircraft, while the Republic of Ghana agreed to buy six aircraft during the Dubai Airshow, which runs between Nov. 17-21.

The deal was signed on behalf of Ghana by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda.

“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,” Mr Adda said.

“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,” he added.

The Senior Vice President in charge of Commercial Sales and Marketing for The Boeing Company, Ihssane Mounir, observed that Africa, particularly Ghana, boasts of a growing and young workforce with vast natural resources.

“We see the demand for air travel continues to rise across the continent. Boeing is honoured to work with Ghana in helping re-launch an airline to serve this vast market,” he said.

But reacting to the news on Citi FM, the minority MP believes Ghana cannot handle an airline and the conversation of purchasing has been held anywhere.

"As we all aware we don't have a national carrier at the moment, we had Ghana Airways which a god road to Germany, UK, US and South Africa it was rundown and assets sold out to individuals during President Kufour's period, they tempted forming Ghana International using an aircraft from ........... we dollying out........that one also collapsed, there is a desire to have a national carrier which is a positive one which doesn't mean its going to be own by Ghana, I'm sure majority shareholders are probably not Ghanaian citizens, I'm aware that under NDC they started working with either Price Waterhouse Coopers to develop a business case as to how we can get a national carrier, that was completed and the idea was that we were not so good in managing a national carrier, so there was a need to probably look for collaboration with an existing airline and I'm aware that the Ministry has been talking with Ethiopian Airline which is largely owned by Star Alliance members.....that conversation has been going on for sometime so we are unaware of any concrete step why Ghana is saying they are going ahead to buy other aircraft, infact, Boeing Dreamliner I'm sure will be between 30 to 250 million dollars, so if you want to buy 3 then you are getting to one billion dollars and if you buying on high purchase it could be more than 300 million dollars, I've not heard any member of government suggesting that they have actually taken a concrete step to buy an aircraft I'm aware that.......senior staff of Ghana Airport Comapny attended the Dubai Air Show which is normal and an MOU was signed, secondly you need to get the background Boeing is losing market shares to Airbus because of the particular case of Boeing many people who places order actually are cancelling their orders so deepens Boeing terribly, i suspect Boeing is just trying to pitch a better market in the future....."