PassionAir starts flights to Sunyani Airport Sept 19 — Move activates commercial, social activities in region

BY: Maclean Kwofi
PassionAir is set to start commercial flights to Sunyani Airport.

Commercial and other social activities at the Sunyani Airport will come alive from September 19, to give renewed hope to the troubled travel and tourism industry in that part of the country.

This follows the introduction of flight services by a domestic airline operator, PassionAir, to the Sunyani Regional Airport in the Bono Region.

When operations officially commence, it will make the airline the only carrier with the largest route network in the country.

Regular scheduled passenger flights, according to the airline, will start on September 23, 2022.

PassionAir is expected to operate four weekly flights between Accra’s Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and Sunyani.

The airline in a statement said this was informed by an advice from the regulator, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), to commence flight operations on September 19, instead of the earlier advertised date of September 9.

“PassionAir is pleased to add Sunyani to our existing domestic routes of flight services from Accra to Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi and Wa,” the airline said.

PassionAir operates Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 and Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 planes that can transport 78 and 50 passengers respectively.

The airport

The Sunyani Airport is one of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL)-operated airports and currently offers domestic air travel to the Bono Region.

Originally a communication outpost and aerodrome, the Sunyani Airport was built in 1942 for use by the Allied Forces during World War II.

The airstrip was later abandoned before the war ended. In 1969, the government initiated the construction of a complete airport for the region and was officially opened on July 13, 1974.

Safety concern

In March 2016, the operations at the Sunyani Airport were halted as a result of safety concerns caused by visible deterioration of the airport’s airside pavements (runway, taxi link and apron).

The closure meant that travellers, especially those of the business community, in the discharge of their socio-economic activities, could only travel in and out of the region by road; journeys which were usually long, tiresome and stifled business activities.

Completion of the project works at the Sunyani Airport reinforces the GACL’s vision to be the preferred aviation hub and leader in airport business in West Africa.

The upgrades, which have been done to meet set safety and security standards for aircraft landing and take-off by local and international regulators, facilitates the company’s drive to expand its operations to other parts of the country and to boost its revenue generation.

Economic potential

Re-opening of the Sunyani Airport will unlock the economic potential of the regional capital and its environs and propel socio-economic development in a bustling Sunyani city and across the country.

The GH¢52.25 million project work funded jointly by the government and the GACL commenced on October 25, 2019 and was expected to be completed in nine months.

However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) case management restrictions and the steady return to normal life, the project work recommenced and was completed in July 2022.