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Business News of Monday, 13 July 2015

Source: Maritime and Transport Digest

Goldstar Airlines to stage massive protest against GCAA

Barring any last minute intervention, the Management of Goldstar Airlines will within the next 3 weeks stage a protest march against the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for delaying to issue the airline with its charter license to enable it operate a charter service in the country.

The company is also protesting the issuance of the same routes that it applied for (Washington) to South African Airways while refusing to dispatch a team of inspectors from the Authority to go and inspect the Airline’s Aircrafts and equipment in the United States.

The protest march which will see management and staff, supporters and sympathisers as well as some local airlines participating will rock some principal streets in the capital and end with a presentation of a petition to the Ministry of Transport.

Speaking to Maritime and Transport Digest on the planned protest, the Chief Executive Officer of Goldstar Airlines, Mr. Eric Bannerman said the delay in giving his Airline the charter license smacks of a deliberate attempt by some particular people in Authority at the GCAA to run down and collapse his company.

According to him, the company has for the last 18 months pursued the license after sinking a whopping 600 thousand dollars plus into the company to no avail, even though the company has satisfied all the requirements to be able to acquire the license.

‘’We have satisfied all the requirements that are needed for the charter license but the GCAA is frustrating our efforts. We have been at this issue for some time now and we don’t intend to end anytime soon. We will ensure to get that license even if it will take us 10 years. We are not relenting at all and somebody somehow must hear us’’ he said in an interview.

In his opinion, the GCAA officials are rather working in favour of foreign airlines at the detriment of the domestic and local airlines, a trend he indicated was going to negatively impact the economy and the local airline industry in the country.

The protest Mr. Bannerman explained, was to highlight the ill treatment being meted out to his airline and will be done every month to get the appropriate authorities to expeditiously look into the matter so that a closure through an amicable settlement can be reached to enable the airline commence operations in Ghana.

‘’What is also baffling in this matter is the fact that the GCAA has been able to issue similar licenses to other airlines which applied after Goldstar Airlines had applied for the same license and it beats my imagination that we can meet all the requirements and just for the GCAA to send its team of inspectors to inspect our aircrafts, they are dragging their feet’’ he said.

According to Mr. Bannerman, the protest is also to stop airlines coming from outside West Africa from plying the West Coast route and to impress upon the GCAA to expedite action on the 2006 Cape Town Convention by sending the appropriate details to parliament for the necessary action to be taken.

‘’We also want to emphatically state that we are not happy with the GCAA for giving out the same route that we applied for to South African Airways. It is preposterous and a slap in the face of Goldstar Airlines and I think they better rescind that decision for peace to prevail’’ Mr. Bannerman warned.

The convention he said will empower and enhance the operations of domestic and local airlines and will make them more competitive in the industry.