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Ho Airport Opening: Ho-Dubai flights in the offing

Ho Airport 202212112 The Ho Airport

Mon, 26 Apr 2021 Source: aviationghana.com

The opening of the Ho Airport for passenger traffic will greatly benefit people travelling from the Volta Region to other domestic, regional and other popular holiday destinations such as Dubai, London, and Johannesburg, aviation analysts and travel consultants have predicted.

Sean Mendis, commercial aviation expert told AviationGhana: “Ghana is one of the only countries in the world that is actually showing growth in the overall domestic market despite COVID-19, so that is generally a positive indicator for opening up new routes.

“Nonetheless, the market from an airport like Ho is not going to be for people traveling locally between Accra and Volta region, but rather the volume that the hub in Accra can provide to a new spoke. Passengers who otherwise drive from Ho to Accra to fly onwards can now fly from Ho to Kumasi or Dubai with just a simple connection at the hub.”

The signing of an interline agreement between AWA and Emirates, Ethiopian, Brussels, and others in 2019, will serve to facilitate the suggested Ho-Dubai, Ho-Brussels, Ho-London, Ho-New York flights via the hub in Accra.

Inbound passengers on Emirates, Ethiopian and Brussels network will also benefit from greater connectivity. They can now connect from Accra onto AWA flights to Ho.

The Ho Airport was officially inaugurated in 2018. The project was funded at a cost of US$25 million and opened for domestic and commercial flights. However, the two main domestic airlines are yet to start scheduled operations to the airport.

AWA, after a successful test flight last week, has indicated that it is ready to start scheduled operations between Accra’s Kotoka International Airport and Ho in the coming weeks.

Mr. Mendis believes that the low direct operating costs should make the service viable. “AWA is not in the business of launching loss making routes. I expect the flight will have positive contribution from day one. The direct operating costs are low for such a short flight and they should break even with around 30 passengers.”

Komla Tsegah Courage, Business Development Manager, Khrishna Travel and Tours, believes that: “Opening up of the Ho Airport is a great move. Ho has great tourism potential; hence for the tourist it would be easier to visit Ho and come back within the shortest possible time.

“A chunk of the traffic to Ho for tourism purpose is mostly from Accra, which currently is a three-hour drive both ways and the possibility of contending with the traffic at the Michelle Camp route in both cases.

“There are people who have never had a flight experience in their entire life. Hence a tour in Ho with flight as part of the package would be a good catch to get passengers. Hence it could increase the domestic revenue bit for us as travel agencies,” he said.

He, however, said ticket prices should be very reasonable to encourage more people to travel by air to Ho. “When the flight cost and the tour package becomes very expensive then it becomes a disincentive for them to go by air and then we are back to default setting–by road trip!

GACL discussing start of scheduled operation to Ho

Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited, Mr. Yaw Kwakwa, disclosed that his outfit is discussing flights schedule with AWA, while PassionAir has also indicated its readiness to start flying to Ho.

“We are here to let you know our preparedness to operationalise the Ho Airport for commercial activities in the days ahead. We are grateful for the enthusiasm that the region has shown with this large crowd of people to witness this historic flight. We want this enthusiasm to grow to help improve patronage when the airport starts receiving commercial flights,” Mr. Kwakwa said.

“So very soon it will not only be AWA but also PassionAir. We are still discussing specific date that the airlines will start commercial operations,” he added.

Source: aviationghana.com
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