Eric Bannerman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Goldstar Airlines, a privately-owned Ghanaian airliner, has appealed to Government to step in and assist to make the flight airborne.
Having celebrated the first anniversary of the company recently, the CEO expressed anger at the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for frustrating the operations of the airline through delay or refusal to inspect maintenance and operational facilities.
‘We have negotiated for a lease to purchase aircraft to operate from Accra to a number of destinations. We have acquired the necessary facilities and personnel in readiness to professionally run Goldstar Airlines, with flights readily available to begin plying the Accra-Baltimore (USA), London (UK) and Guangzhou (China) flights,’ Mr Bannerman said.
According to the Goldstar CEO, despite the fact that employees to man the airline are ready, the operation of Goldstar Airlines has hit a snag following the failure of the GCAA to go and inspect the equipment and other facilities of the airline in the USA.
‘I don’t know what the problem is because the airline is Ghanaian so it’s Ghanaians who will benefit a lot from it,’ Mr. Bannerman told the media in Accra.
He accused some elements at the GCAA who are frustrating efforts to make the flight operational.
Mr Bannerman mentioned Mrs Catherine Hoffman, who is the Director, Economic Regulation and Business Development and Rev Wilfred Arthur, who is the Manager, Business Development and Statistics of the GCAA, as the masterminds of the delay in getting the airline in the air.
The CEO said Mrs Hoffman had vowed not to have the airline inspected so that it becomes operational, even though the company had satisfied all the inspection requirements and is ready to foot the cost of travel to the USA by GCAA inspectors and Goldstar Airlines officials, as well as the license fee, which is about $30,000.
He once again appealed to the President John Dramani Mahama to intervene in the matter to save a Ghanaian business from collapse.
‘I am still on my knees before His Excellency President Mahama to use his good offices to help make the airline become airborne.
‘We are pleading with the President to use his good offices to compel the GCAA to go and inspect our equipment so that they can give us the license to begin work,’ an obviously frustrated CEO said.
Mr Bannerman announced that the airliner was celebrating its first anniversary with the re-branding of his airline to reflect the true colours of its origin.
The CEO, in a telephone interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) from Baltimore, Maryland, said the airliner was celebrating its first anniversary with the re-branding of his airline to reflect the true colours of its origin.
‘We are changing our logo slightly to have a new look. Our logo now reads: ‘Wings of Ghana.’ We we are also changing our slogan from Good Flights, Good Deals to Great Flights, Great Deals because we have been great throughout our first year,’ Mr Bannerman said.
He announced that the company was ready to use its almost two decades experience in the travel and tour industry to partner the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to enhance sanitation and generally improve the tourism industry.
‘Our marketing team will be going to schools and other places in the Diaspora to market the airline so that it will become the preferred choice both for Ghanaians and other nationals.
‘It will also discount group fares so that a lot more people will visit Ghana’s tourist sites which will create some jobs for the local people and promote tourism as well,’ he said, adding that the airliner has plans to organize fun trips for corporate organisations and travel agencies.
Mr Bannerman urged Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of technology and upgrade their business and operations, especially the travel and tours companies.
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