A new indigenous carrier, Passion Air, has taken delivery of its first 78 seater aircraft, Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 which paves way for the airline to begin domestic operations.
Passion Air which will begin with three daily flights to Kumasi from Accra, and they are also scheduled to fly to Tamale and Takoradi.
The coming in of Passion Air will end the monopoly currently being enjoyed by Africa World Airlines (AWA) the only domestic airline servicing the Accra-Kumasi-Accra; Accra-Takoradi-Accra; and Accra-Tamale-Accra routes.
It will also give options to the travelling public, ending the shortage of options to patrons of the domestic aviation industry in the face of the growing demand for seats on AWA, due to the gap left by Starbow, Fly 540, Antrak and City Link.
Passengers currently will have to pay higher fares to fly with only one domestic airline operating.
Speaking at a short ceremony to welcome Passion Air’s new aircraft, the Managing Director of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Simon Allottey said the coming in of the airline to the domestic space was timely to give passengers another option but caution the airline against lateness.
“You have come at the right time to bring relief to domestic passengers who have been battling with only one airline in that space. But there is the need to be on time with flights by making sure that if you say that the flight is 2 pm, you take off that 2 pm otherwise you will not get patronage.”
Mr. Allottey added that there is also the need to collaborate by forming alliances with bigger carriers and also consider even venturing into regional operations.
On his part, the Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited John Dekyem Attafuah who commended Passion on their decision to commence full domestic commercial operations in Ghana said the airport company was happy to welcome them to their fold.
He was hopeful the coming of Passion air will provide the needed competition and an alternative to the travelling public with connectivity and affordability in terms of fares.
Speaking to Joy Business, the Commercial Manager, Passion Air, Anita Khoury said the airline is actually expecting two more aircraft soon which will service all the three main routes being Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.
“Our operational plan is that we will start operating three daily flights, Accra-Kumasi with the first aircraft, that might last for just a few days—and then up until five frequencies per day.
We will be expecting our second aircraft in a maximum of two weeks. The second aircraft when it comes in, then we will introduce Tamale and increase the Accra-Kumasi frequency too. When the third aircraft comes in, we will introduce Takoradi scheduled operation and further increase the frequency on Tamale.”
Madam Khoury added that the introduction of Passion Air and the comfortable schedules they offer will stimulate the domestic market.
The Commercial Manager, Passion Air, added that the price is very competitive as the airline is beginning with a 250 Cedis one way fair to Kumasi or if one is flying to Accra.
On booking systems, she said it is very user-friendly as it is possible for the public to book, pay online, and check-in online from the convenience of their homes, offices and wherever they may be.