Africa World Airline, a joint Venture between the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, the Strategic African Securities (ASA), both of Ghana, and Hainan Airlines of China, is set to take to the skies on September 21. Taking off with an initial complement of two aircraft, the airline, a 50 million-dollar enterprise with a 24-city business plan, will go regional from take off, combining domestic operations with fights to the West coast.
Its destinations include Ouagadougou, Abidjan, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Conakry, Dakar, Banjul and expanding with time, to Johannesburg, Harare, Entebbe and Luanda, with a final complement of 10 planes.
In five years, it aspires to fly destinations outside Africa.
At a dinner in Accra to welcome the airline’s top Zhang, the Chief Executive, Shi Cheng, the Operations Executive and Sunny Sun, Finance Manager, Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State and CEO of SAS Finance Group, said the new airline was determined to end the era of frustrations when flights from Accra to some African capitals took more than 20 hours because of the circuitous nature of the route, when the same journey could be done in six hour with a direct flight.
“To go to Cape Verde from Accra, one has to fly to Lisbon in Portugal. In some cases, you take off from Accra, fly to Europe and catch a connecting flight which will see you flying over Accra to get to your destination within Africa. Even worse are flights to the west coast. To go to Ndjamena, Chad for instance, the fastest is to go through Europe because there is no direct flight from Accra. In instances where there are flights, these are not daily.
“What it means is that if you have a conference in those countries, you have to arrive two days in advance of the meeting an expensive proposition.’’