British Airways bedbugs saga: ‘Institutions must bite’ – CILT-Ghana

Mr. David Ankapong Gray Vice President Of CILT Ghana (middle) Addressing The Media David Ankapong Gray, Vice President of CILT-Ghana (middle) addressing the media

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 Source: Prosper Agbenyega

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-Ghana) has condemned the disparaging services airlines operators such as British Airways (BA) is providing to Ghanaians and indicated that supervisory agencies must “bite” harder so as to ensure sanity and professionalism in the aviation industry.

CILT-Ghana was reacting to the current British Airways saga which saw one of their Ghana-bound flights infested with bed bugs.

For CILT Ghana the absence of periodic monitoring of the operations of airlines in the country is the cause of the unfortunate incidence and said it is ready to partner industry stakeholders to begin such periodic monitoring of the operations of these airlines and publish a league of table for their customer service among other services.

Addressing the media in Accra, Mr. David Ankapong Gray Vice President of CILT-Ghana in charge of Air Aviation mentioned that although people as well as agencies have, on constant occasions called on the sector ministries and agencies to intervene in issues regarding poor service delivery but no clear solution has been put forward giving the airlines the guts to operate with impunity to the detriment of passengers and agencies in the travel and aviation industry.

To this end, CILT-Ghana has proposed some key ideas for government to adopt so as to address these unfortunate incidents.

He stated that “government must strictly ensure that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) implements its rules both Commercial and Technical to the later without fear or favour and with boldness.”

David Ankapong Gray, who makes references to U.K and American aviation inspectors working on duty in Ghana, explained that these inspectors are so strict that when they find fault with our system, they ensure that it is corrected to meet their standards before giving the go ahead to approve for operations to commence.

He also pointed out that the outright monopoly of British Airways on the Accra-London-Accra direct route has also resulted in the airline taking Ghanaians for granted, and averred that “this has resulted in higher fares and reduced baggage allowances as against some of our sister African countries like Nigeria whose fares are lower with more baggage allowances covering almost the same distance.”

CILT-Ghana has also called for the need for a home-grown airline. According to him the agenda for a base carrier must be pursued as a deliberate strategy to break the supremacy of British Airways and as well address the issue of complacency on the part of British Airways which continue to show such poor customer service.

“The government in the interim could also grant traffic rights to other airlines who may want to take advantage of such routes such as South African Airways is doing with its direct Washington flights from Ghana,” he stated.

The Institution however called on the Minister of Aviation to summon all airline managers or representatives in the country over the serious breaches that have persisted over the period and “strictly admonish them to improve on their operations to avoid serious sanctions if found culpable.”

On his part, Nlaliban Wujangi a fellow at the Institute pointed out that lack of maintenance has become synonymous to airlines in the country and called on government and agencies to streamline policies and guidelines and as well enforce them to prevent future occurrences of such unfortunate situations.

One of the Ghana-bound British Airways flights had to be grounded after the cabin crew refused to fly on it due to a bedbug infestation. They walked out minutes before take-off and were beyond their working hours when a replacement plane was found.

The flight to Ghana eventually left Heathrow four hours late.

The incidence is the latest bedbug embarrassment to hit BA in recent months with protests that cheap cleaning contractors are not doing a proper job preparing jets for flights.

BA has been battling to restore its reputation after being accused of poor customer service and cutting perks.

Source: Prosper Agbenyega