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Diasporian News Tue, 17 Feb 2004

Ghana Airways Needs To Take On Commercial Outlook

The United Kingdom (UK) General Manager of the Ghana Airways, Mr Roger Allotey, has indicated that until the focus of the company is changed from political to commercial, the company cannot operate economically and profitably.

He said the first President of Ghana, at the time of establishing the company, noted that the agenda of the company was political rather than commercial. According to him, this unproductive agenda has guided the company over the years and has thwarted all efforts by the company to compete favourably with others.

Mr Allotey was contributing to a discussion on Ghana Airways at a forum in London at the weekend. The weighty problem facing the Ghana Airways, which has eventually affected many Ghanaian travellers, took the centre stage of deliberations at the forum.

The forum, the third in the series, held annually by the Ghana High Commission in the UK, was intended to reflect on a similar one organised by the Ghana government back home in Accra.It was used to disserminate government policies and programmes both at home and abroad and also to solicit views from the Ghanaian community to address some of the problems facing them as individuals and the nation in general.

The main speaker?s speech, which was centred on the economic policies and the recent Ghana?s budget to the Parliament, was deemed as a real food for thought, especially in the light of the growth of the nation?s economy. Nevertheless, participants at the forum, mainly Ghanaians from all over the UK, expressed concerns about other issues such as dual citizenship, Ghana Airways, corruption, skilled labour in Ghana, sanitation, and the effect of the economy on the ordinary Ghanaian, among others.

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Both the guest speaker, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Economic Planning, Dr. Samuel Nii Noi Ashong and his host and the chairman for the occasion, Ghana?s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Isaac Osei, managed to give explanations, yet their efforts were not enough to convince the large crowd who were still shouting ?Ghana Airways, Ghana Airways?.

Mr Osei had to call in the UK General Manager of the Ghana Airways, Mr Roger Allotey, to the podium to explain matters further.He acknowledged that the company was currently operating with an aircraft which does not serve the purpose of the company any longer.

He said whenever there were about 260 passengers from London to Accra, the plane had to leave their baggage behind.He said the past management of the company destroyed the company, and it was about time issues affecting the company were looked at very critically to address the structure, systems, management and the type of aircraft used, in order to start from a new sheet.

Dr Ashong said the government had set up a committee of ministers to take a look at the problems of the company for redress and possibly seek partnership, which will re-fleet the airline or see to its $160-million debt.

Source: Graphic