Minister for Aviation, Joseph Adda, says parliamentary approval for the partnership between government and Cairo-basd Egypt Air, is the only step left for the creation of a new national flag carrier.
Mr Adda speaking at the inauguration of the Aviation Security Service Providers Association at the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy last week, said government had concluded negotiations with EgyptAir for a joint venture that will establish a new national airline for the country.
“We want to take this opportunity to announce that we have 5,indeed completed negotiations that we need to conclude with our partner, Egypt Air in this case. All the issues that were outstanding in the past have been resolved. We’ve compiled all we need to compile, which includes the shareholders’ agreement, the business plan, to ensure that we get the approval from the key agencies in Ghana. The Parliament is the only step left for us to have a national airline,” he said.
But a parliamentary approval of the partnership agreement may be easier said than done considering the fact that, the incumbent government has almost lost its majority in parliament following the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.
This means that the government may try to push the agreement with EgyptAir in legislative proceedings before Parliament fully reconvenes in its new configuration in January next year.
While details of the deal remain unclear, EgyptAir is expected to take a majority equity stake in the emerging new airline. This makes sense from an operational and financial viewpoint as the two previous Ghanaian state-owned carriers went bankrupt; Ghana Airways in 2004 and its successor Ghana International Airlines in 2010.
Previously, Ghana looked to Ethiopian Airlines, one of the most successful carriers in African aviation, for such a partnership. But in the end, the deal with Ethiopian Airlines fell through due to disagreements over issues such as routes, funding, and tenure of the management contract.
Nonetheless, the concluded negotiations with EgyptAir could be the end of a process that began in 2016 with the quest of government to launch a new Ghana Airways.