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Opinions of Friday, 29 June 2007

Columnist: Asamoah, Gordon Newlove

Survival of Ghana International airline - The Challenges

I wrote an article on ghanaweb on the 24th of June, 2007, entitled “Ghanaians are too pro-foreign” in which I was urging Ghanaians to patronise the Ghana International airline(GIA) and I sited the collapse of the Ghana airways as an example. There were various views expressed by various people and I was happy people did agree with me and others did not. This shows how analytical Ghanaians are. In the said article I meant lack of patronage did contribute to its collapse but I did not mean it was solely responsible for the collapse of the Ghanair. There were other major factors but patronage counts a lot in any business

From the responses that I got from the readers, I realised Ghana international airline has a lot to do to convince many Ghanaians to patronise it. Various problems and excuses were sited by different people as to why they do not intend to use GIA. There is this Akan adage that literally says “if you are warning the cat, then you have to warn the stinking fish as well”

Well my free pieces of advice to GIA as my contribution to its survival are outlined below:

First of all, GIA should learn from the mistakes made by the Ghanair managements which included mismanagement, lack of proper supervision and corrupt practices within the management as well as the sales teams, where prospective passengers were told the flight was full when in fact they are reserving the seats for family members and friends who will either pay half the fare or nothing at all. And at times they end up not using up the spaces at all.

Secondly, GIA should avoid unnecessary delays and cancellations and where it is beyond their control they should find ways of communicating with passengers as soon as possible and make alternative arrangements for passengers who cannot wait due to one reason or the other.

Thirdly, from the reactions I got from the above article, people complained about overbooking (when they started operation), where they (passengers) will get to the airports only to be told the flight is overbooked. This has discouraged a lot of people from patronage since they consider GIA as unreliable and now patronise other airlines.GIA should liaise with their various travel agents so that they do not overbook for a particular date.

Furthermore, GIA is in the infant stage so if they know they are going to operate below capacity as I witnessed, then I will advice that they reduce the number of flights to the UK in a week. For instance if they are operating five flights a week to the UK they could reduce it to four flights per week until they are firmly grounded and can fill the aircraft for five flights per week so that some of the wastes can be reduced.

Lastly, GIA should engage in educative and informative advertising to educate the masses about their services, in flight entertainments and to debunk any wrong ideas or impressions formed in the minds of people. They should improve their service delivery and they will attract the passengers automatically.

The survival of GIA is paramount to Ghana’s pride as the nation has declared a golden age of business and Ghana as the gateway to Africa. A word to a wise is enough.

GORDON NEWLOVE ASAMOAH
(LECTURER AND PUBLIC POLICY ANALYST) KNUST SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, KUMASI-GHANA


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.