A new local airline, Unity Air, has received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to start operations in the domestic market.
The airline, which is owned by Unity Group of Companies, a Ghanaian entity, currently has one aircraft but managers said they intend to acquire about four aircraft in due course and operate both domestic and regional flights from Kumasi and later to the Ho and Wa airports.
In the meantime, it will be operating hop flights between Accra-Kumasi-Tamale-Accra with a 30-seater Embraer jet.
Officials of Unity Air last Friday called on the Minister of Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, to inform him and the ministry about the licence.
The minister said the government would continue to encourage and support local airlines to fully utilise the country’s route rights.
He said the aviation industry peaked in the year 2014 with about seven carriers, five of which were domestic carriers in operations which offered about 1.5 million seats.
He, however, stated that the industry was unable to maintain the growth when three of the domestic operators had to suspend their operations as of early last year.
That notwithstanding, Mr Adda expressed optimism that the domestic aviation industry was currently on the verge of recovery with the support and attractive policies of the government.
“The total passenger market was 0.5 million in the year 2017.
It is projected that the market will continue to see growth due to the emergence of new domestic airlines and so our forecast is that the market will grow by 48 per cent by the year 2023,” he indicated.
Mr Adda said the emergence of Unity Air on the domestic airline market would not only add to the jobs being created, but would also open up other parts of the country for economic activities, including tourism.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unity Air, Mr Bethel A. Donkor, said his outfit was able to acquire the certificate with the guidance of the GCAA.
He gave the assurance that Unity Air would not disappoint and promised that the licence would mark the beginning of more important steps it planned to take.
“We are going to be an airline that will operate according to regulation by making safety issues a priority to ensure that Unity Air becomes the preferred airline,” he stated.
On the name Unity Air, Mr Donkor said the airline intended to work to unite various parts of the country.
The Director-General of the GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey, who handed over the AOC to Unity Air, said the airline had been operating for over a year after applying for the carrier licence and went through a rigorous mandatory five-phase approach to acquire the AOC, which had paved the way for them to undertake both domestic and regional airline services.