A Nigerian travel consultant, Mr Iketsi Uko, has predicted that Ghana could become an aviation hub in Africa if it goes ahead to implement the Open Skies Policy.
According to him, statistics indicate that the policy, when implemented, could provide tens of thousands of jobs in the aviation industry in Ghana alone.
Mr Uko, who was speaking at the Ethiopian Airlines (ET) top-performing agencies awards in Accra, indicated that Ghana would become the first country on the continent to commence the operation of the Open Skies Policy in the aviation industry.
Ghana and Rwanda are among about 15 African countries which have indicated their readiness to implement the policy which has been on the drawing board of the Africa aviation industry for decades.
“Ghana is increasingly becoming one of the most important air traffic hubs on the African continent, that is why all the airlines are now operating here and this means that the country is doing something right,” he said.
He underscored the need for countries on the African continent to open their skies in order to create a free market environment for the aviation industry.
Benefits from Open Skies
The objective of the Open Skies Policy is to liberalise the rules for international aviation markets and minimise government’s intervention in air-cargo, air transportation for scheduled and charter passenger services, among others.
The operation of open skies in the advanced world has led to the growth in international aviation service, creating new businesses for international air carriers.
Growth in these services results in increased travel and trade, productivity, high-quality job opportunities and economic growth.
Open Skies does this by reducing government interference in the commercial decisions of air carriers, thereby freeing them to provide market-oriented affordable, convenient and efficient air service for consumers.
Ethiopian Airlines awards agencies
Ethiopian Airlines awarded more than 20 travel and tour agencies that have been doing business with it for their performance over the previous year, and loyalty over the years.
All the agencies received cheques for undisclosed amounts, with 11 of them additionally receiving certificates in appreciation of their exceptional work.
The Country Manager of Ethiopian Airlines, Ms Genet W. Michael, said the contribution of the travel and tour agencies to the airline’s business in the country over the previous year was significant.
“The award is in recognition of the tremendous support these agencies have given to us and the warm relationship that existed between us,” she said.
Going forward, the country manager said her outfit would continue to work harder in order to provide safe and comfortable service to its customers across the world.