Africa World Airline, one of only two domestic airlines, has welcomed a new aircraft to its fleet to mark its fifth anniversary since it started operations.
The newest addition brings to five, the number of aircrafts owned by the multiple-award winning airline company. The single-aisle Embraer passenger jet has the registration number 9G-AFJ, which is the first of its kind for any domestic carrier in the country.
In a brief ceremony to welcome the aircraft on the tarmac of the Kotoka International Airport, Founder of AWA, Togbe Afede XIV stated that the latest addition demonstrates the airline’s commitment to being a major stakeholder in the aviation industry within the West Africa sub-region. ‘’We at Africa world airline are committed to working with government to make Accra a hub of aviation in West Africa.’’
In furtherance of the commitment, Togbe Afede hinted of plans to take delivery of even bigger aircrafts by the middle of this year.
‘’What we have come to do today, is just one of several we shall be doing in future – the very near future. We still have a commitment to bring new aircrafts by the middle of this year, and I am talking about two larger aircrafts. We started with these 145s as a matter of strategy and that is why we survived. Now that we have mastered the terrain, we are ready to bring in larger aircraft, starting from the middle of this year.’’
He further disclosed that ‘’ subject to the results of the feasibility that we are undertaking now, the commitment is to bring, apart from the two that we are expecting, another ten aircrafts over the next one year. That will indeed launch us almost immediately into the realms of the biggest airlines on our continent.’’
‘’ And I can assure you that this will be the effective realization of the vision of the founders of AWA. Even if we have made progress so far, I want to tell you that we are nowhere close to achieving the aspirations of the founders.’’
Togbe Afede said he hopes to enjoy the continuous support of stakeholders of AWA, including shareholders like SSNIT, others like the Chinese government, the Ghana government and its staff to be able to create more job openings for Ghanaians as the airline company grows.
‘’ We shall be connecting Ghana to the rest of the world. It is not just about connecting places, or moving people, it is about the ramifications the process has on the growth of the economy, bringing prosperity and happiness to the people and that is the mandate and aspiration of AWA, ‘’ he noted.
Chinese Ambassador H.E. Sun Baohong expressed her delight over what she described as outsatndinding performance of AWA in the last five years. She said having overcome several challenges since its inception, Africa World Airline, has displayed a strong resolve to promote flight connectivity and her government is prepared to support them in their quest.
Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Simon Allotey was full of praise for AWA for surviving the difficult terrain of conducting airline business in the country to become the leader in that respect. He however, challenged the company to expand their operations by exploring new routes. He said as Accra is gradually becoming a preferred destination for tourists and visitors from other countries, especially in Africa, the time is ripe for AWA, to take advantage of the travel boom.
Africa World Airline currently services all domestic routes, including night flights and also flies to Lagos in Nigeria.