Airlines in Ghana are feeling pressured into staking their claim on the country’s air travel market ahead of the high-profile launch of Fast Jet – the new airline headed by easyJet founder Stelion Haji-Ioannou.
One such airline, Starbow, is planning to introduce a variety of short-haul international routes from its Accra base using BAe 146 aircraft, whilst also taking on Boeing 737-700 or Airbus A319 aircraft to allow it to stretch further into international markets.
Fly540 is an existing Ghanian low-cost airline, however it is set to rebrand as Fastjet, with its base at Accra, and offer flights to a range of domestic and international destinations. It also plans to franchise its brand to other African countries, bringing fast, modern and efficient operations to a continent that until recently has been largely reliant on older jets and lax safety standards.
Both airlines are targeting similar routes, choosing to focus on business destinations, and on increasing frequencies on routes that have been underserved until now. This, they hope, will attract business customers and frequent fliers to their airlines.
Currently, airlines such as Emirates, South African, Ethiopian Airlines and Air Nigeria also provide plenty of capacity between African destinations as part of their long-haul routes, and it is hoped that these new low-cost airlines can muscle in on this market by being based at Accra and providing these high frequencies.
Aviation in Ghana is set to become busier, and no doubt more cut throat until the new airlines make their mark. Expect to see a variety of new airliner types operating, and a host of new destinations on offer.