Ghanaian business mogul and co-founder of the Despite Group of Companies, Osei Kwame Despite and his partner, Ernest Ofori Sarpong, have joined the fray to partner with the government in the establishment of a new home-based carrier.
Under the brand name Ashanti Airlines, the shrewd business partners have already acquired an Air Carrier Licence (ACL) and have submitted the required documents for the first phase of the regulatory processes leading to the granting of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
The two licenses are required by the aviation sector regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to be able to operate as an airline in Ghana.
Ashanti Airlines, AviationGhana sources say, has already made their intention to partner with the government to establish a new home-based carrier known to the Committee Established by the Minister for Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, to vet all proposals for the initiative.
“Their proposal looks good and ambitious. The good thing is that they are not waiting to just partner the government, they are going ahead with all processes to start operations in Ghana as an airline,” a source with knowledge about the issue told AviationGhana.
Ashanti Airlines, thus, becomes one of the two local-investor-backed companies seeking to partner with the government. The other potential International is Zotus Group UK.
Ghana has been without a national airline since the collapse of Ghana International Airlines in 2010, following the demise of Ghana Airways in 2004.
Attempts to establish a new home-based carrier has led to the signing of MoUs with Ethiopian Airlines and EgyptAir respectively with no clear outcome.
This led to the establishment of a new Committee to vet all proposals after the erstwhile Ministry of Aviation was subsumed into the Ministry of Transport.
Presenting the 2022 budget to Parliament on November 17, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced that the government was in the final negotiation stages with a potential strategic partner for a new national airline.
He was optimistic that the negotiations would be finalised and the airline established in 2022.