The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority is anticipating a twenty percent drop in revenue following a drop in the number of flights permitted into the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Director General of the Authority, Ing., Simon Allotey, says they may have to resort to other means to make up for the shortfall.
The disclosure by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority head follows the latest measures announced by government on Sunday [March 15, 2020], to prevent a likely spread of the coronavirus after Ghana recorded six imported cases.
Among other restrictions, Ghana is not permitting in bound flights carrying passengers other than Ghanaians in countries that have recorded more than 200 cases of the COVID-19.
This means that passengers scheduled to fly into Ghana from countries like the UK, China, Italy, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany cannot do so until such a time that the restrictions are revised.
There has been a huge economic impact caused by the pandemic, as air travel has reduced drastically.
The Director General of the GCAA, Simon Allotey, lamented to Citi Business News how revenue has been impacted by these developments.
“Airports Company depends largely on charges levied on airport passenger charges, while the GCAA also depends on landing fees, en route charges for aircraft overflying Ghana’s airspace and the passenger safety charge. So once passenger numbers drop, there will be a corresponding decrease in passenger safety charge. For now, we can generally say there will be at least 20% dip as the situation improves or deteriorates, there could be either a further increase or decrease,” he remarked.
Mr. Allotey also highlighted what measures would be rolled out to bridge gap from the anticipated drop in revenue.
“What we need to do is to sit down, re-strategise and take measures to reduce operational costs. Certain projects which are not critical could be put on hold, and we also need to look at staff costs and expenses. There are further stringent measures we will take to try to minimize expenses as we do not want to shut down the airport which could lead to the laying off of workers,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, after an earlier meeting with the Board of Airline Representatives of Ghana and the Airline Operators Committee on Monday [March 16, 2020], it was resolved that operators in the industry should support government’s measures in the interim.
While admitting to the potential disruption to revenue from the aviation sector, Mr. Adda could not give any definite position on whether or not flights would be totally grounded to contain a possible spread of the virus.