The opening of the Kotoka International Airport to both domestic and international travel is beginning to restore life to businesses within and around the Airport that were affected during the closure.
Businesses situated in and around the Kotoka International Airport largely depend on the full operation of the Airport for patronage of their goods and services. They largely include those in the transport sector who serve travelers who arrive in the country.
There are also those who sell food and drinks; and they usually target both arriving travelers and those waiting to board the next flight. There are also a few that sell non-food items within the airport.
The closure of the Airport for nearly six months meant that these businesses were almost non-existent. Even the initial opening of the Airport solely for domestic airlines did not change much.The reopening of the Airport is thus a huge relief for these service providers. It’s been barely a week since the reopening, and full operations are yet to pick.
However, some service providers said they’re beginning to witness some patronage. During a visit by Citi Business News to Terminal 3 of the K.IA, the food business, which recorded more than 90% drop only a few months back, appeared to be picking up one meal at a time.
“During the lockdown period and with the closure of the borders we were making as low as GHS70 to GHS100 for the whole day. Comparing that to when things were way better, from morning till evening, we were making as much as GHS1,800 to GHS2,000. For now sales haven’t fully picked up but of course it is better than when the borders were closed. So, little by little, things will pick up,” Godsway Boateng, a vendor at The Juice Lounge, told Citi Business news.
For much of the patronage in the meantime, the service providers say employees of the Ghana Airports Company and other workers in the Airport are their main source of revenue, since flight operations are yet to pick up fully.
“The staff at Airport really helped us sustain our business, especially immigration, customs and the other departments. They helped us a lot. Without them we wouldn’t have been making any sales at all. The flights are not coming in as they used to; but still come to work so they buy from us a lot,” Godsway added.
But for those in the transport sector, Chairman of the Kotoka International Airport Taxi Drivers, Nicholas Padi told Citi Business News, not much appears to have changed for them at the moment.