Turkey desires to partner Ghana to run proposed national airline

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Sept. 19, GNA – The Turkish Government
has expressed interest in partnering the Government of Ghana towards the
operation of the proposed national airline.

The Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Nesrin
Bayazit, made this known when she paid a courtesy call on Mr Joseph Kofi Adda,
the Minister of Aviation, in Accra, on Wednesday.

She said the Turkish Airlines had the biggest
network in Africa flying to more than 50 destinations on the Continent.

 “…And
since there is a talk about establishing a national airline for Ghana, we’re
looking at the possibility of being involved in this process,” she stated.

Ambassador Bayazit said a Turkish firm was
contracted to construct the Terminal Three Facility of the Kotoka International
Airport, therefore, Turkish firms were interested in supporting the
construction of other projects for the country.

She said there were about 150 Turkish
companies operating in Ghana, thus supporting the country’s development
efforts. “We’re looking at the possibility of doing more business with the
Ministry of Aviation or any other Ministry”.

Turkish companies operating in Ghana were also
exploring opportunities to contribute towards the Government’s ‘One
District-One Factory” programme, in order to accelerate the industrialisation
agenda.

She lauded Ghana for her democratic
credentials and political stability, saying that, the nation had a bright
future, therefore, the Turkish Government would continue to work
collaboratively towards achieving the development agenda.

The Aviation Minister welcomed the Turkish
Ambassador’s plans, saying that the Government was prepared to collaborate with
any airline that had good proposals for potential partnership.

The Government has already received proposals
from the Ethiopian Airlines, Mauritius Airlines and Abu Dhabi Airlines, he
said.

“But we have not closed our doors because
discussions are ongoing and some elements of those discussions have been shared
with the Cabinet and there is no conclusion yet,” he assured.

“Any good plan that comes from any airline for
partnership is welcome, but the most important thing is that we fly the
national flag or have a home-based carrier.”

Mr Adda said the Nana Akufo-Addo-led
Government was serious about embracing Foreign Direct Investments, share risks
and cost rewards, emphasising; “Government is prepared to negotiate with the
Turkish Airlines for possible partnership”.

He said Ghana had viable and safe air routes
to some African countries, Asia and Europe as well as other continents,
therefore, investing in the country’s aviation sector would bring a lot of
benefits to both countries.

Mr Adda emphasised Government’s vision and
commitment to make Ghana the hub of aviation in the West African Sub-region,
which he said, would deliver a lot of economic benefits.

“In that way, there will be a lot of visitors
coming here, cargo coming through, and other economic benefits, besides the tax
revenue, spending that is going to be done by passengers, mystery shopping,
among other benefits”.

In that regard, the Minister stressed the need
to expand the country’s aviation infrastructure to meet the international
standards, citing the government’s plans to put up aviation infrastructure in
the Central and Western regions to promote tourism and services in the
petroleum industry.

He said the Government would embrace Turkish
companies that would support in that regard, adding; “The nation will ensure
value for money and the necessary procurement assessment”.

Apart from improving aviation infrastructure,
Mr Adda emphasised that it would also look at improving service delivery and
security and safety of patrons, as well as ensuring proper management of such
facilities.

Therefore, the Government was exploring ways
of training the human resource in the aviation industry so that they would
offer the required services to clients, he added.

GNA

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