The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has ruled out any form of compensation for local airlines despite the huge losses being recorded by them due to the severe harmattan weather.
[contextly_sidebar id=”5TM58622TdDvVQA7VhZ97VOcrMsPYWcO”]Domestic Airlines were directed to ground flights by the authority last week for about two more weeks as a result of bad weather caused by the harmattan.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority in a “Notice to Air Men [NOTAM],” on Saturday December 5, 2015 warned that the weather may only be safe for flights after December 15, 2015.
Domestic airlines would thus be grounded until that time, unless a dramatic change in the weather pattern.
The development is expected to lead to the airlines losing an estimated GH¢6million per week if the harmattan, which is associated with poor visibility, continues to cause flight suspensions and delays.
According to the B&FT, Africa World Airlines (AWA), which operates 50-seat ERJ 145LR jets to Tamale, Kumasi and Takoradi, is estimated to lose about GH¢2.5million in gross revenue per week if visibility continues to be poor.
Starbow, which operates two 94-seat BAe 146-300 jets and a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft that can seat up to 78 passengers, is estimated to lose about GH¢4million per week if the dusty season continues.
There are fears the latest development will only worsen the predicament of the local aviation industry which is already inundated with high cost of operations including high price of aviation fuel and increasing taxes following the imposition of 17.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) in July,2015 on their operations.
There have been calls for the regulator- GCAA to offer some form of reprieve for the airlines for this period.
But the Deputy Director General of the authority Martey Atoklo tells Citi Business News no such move will be made.
He explains that ‘these weather phenomenon airlines experience is not peculiar to Ghana, some countries experience typhoons, storms etc, we- GCAA don’t have compensation in place for these issues but what the airlines do is that they manage it ‘.
By: Vivian Kai Lokko/citifmonline.com/Ghana