As air traffic in amid the coronavirus pandemic has started picking up gradually, South Africa Airways (SAA) has re-launched its passenger flight operations from Johannesburg to Accra.
This comes 18 months after the national carrier was forced to stop flying commercial in 2020 due to its worsening financial situations amid heightened travel restrictions in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SA 052 Airbus first flight arrived Friday night at 2254 hours at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
Speaking at a ceremony to welcome the flight, the Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori-Asiamah, in a speech read on his behalf at a press briefing, commended South Africa Airways for the decision to re-launch the Johannesburg route on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
He expressed optimism that the three times weekly service would increase to daily flights while congratulating the Airline for a successful re-launch into the aviation space within “the shortest possible time”.
“As government, we recognise the contribution of airline operations to the socio-economic growth of the aviation industry, especially in the period when the industry is struggling to survive. The Ministry wishes to assure South Africa Airways and other airlines of our unflinching support to promote and facilitate airline operations in Ghana, ” he said.
He further noted that the Government was committed to providing a stable and enabling environment for the growth of the industry and that the Ministry was in partnership with the Ghana Health Service to ensure the safety of the airports from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Yaw Kwakwa, the Managing Director, Ghana Airport Company Limited, said the commencement of the route to Ghana was a demonstration of the confidence in Ghana’s aviation industry and the great strides made in positioning the country as a leader in Airport Business in West Africa.
He said the rollout of the vaccines had offered hope to the aviation sector, which would enable South Africa Airways to achieve a consistently high on-time departure and arrival performance.
Grace Jeanette Mason, the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, expressed the readiness of South Africa Airways to partner with Ghana to achieve financial management, leading to job creation in the aviation industry.
Country Manager of South Africa Airways, Gloria Wilkinson Mensa also assured passengers of quality service and convenience.