Despite Group leads race for establishment of home-based carrier - Report

Osei Kwame Despite And Ernest Ofori Sarpong Dr Osei Kwame 'Despite' and his partner Ernest Ofori Sarpong

Thu, 24 Feb 2022 Source: aviationghana.com

AviationGhana sources have confirmed that Ashanti Airlines is in the lead to partner government for the establishment of a home-based carrier.

Out of the four main proposals on the table, the sources say Ashanti Airlines—owned by Ghanaian business mogul and co-founder of the Despite Group of Companies, Osei Kwame Despite and his partner, Ernest Ofori Sarpong appeals more to members of the Committee overseeing the entire project.

The other strategic investors seeking to partner government are Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, and JNH Group.

“From the look of things, they are very likely to get it [partner government for the establishment of the home-based carrier],” a source close to the project told AviationGhana.

Ashanti Airlines has already acquired an Air Carrier Licence (ACL) and has submitted the required documents for the first phase of the regulatory processes leading to the granting of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

The two licenses are required by the aviation sector regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to be able to operate as an airline in Ghana.

Ashanti Airlines has already made presentations to the Committee established by the Minister for Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, to vet all proposals for the initiative.

The Despite Group, owned by the backers of Ashanti Airlines, is one of the biggest media companies in Ghana and also owns a number of non-media-related businesses in the finance and food and beverage sector.

Ghana has been without a national airline since the collapse of Ghana International Airlines in 2010, following the demise of Ghana Airways in 2004.

Attempts to establish a new home-based carrier has led to the signing of MoUs with Ethiopian Airlines and EgyptAir respectively with no clear outcome.

This led to the establishment of a new Committee to vet all proposals after the erstwhile Ministry of Aviation was subsumed into the Ministry of Transport.

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Source: aviationghana.com
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