Air France/KLM Country Manager Urges Reduction of Airport Charges and Taxes to Boost Tourism and Passenger Travel
The Country Manager for Air France/KLM, Mees Van Ojik has made a strong case for government to reduce airport charges to aid tourism and passenger travels.
Mr. Van Ojik stated that the high cost of operating in and out of the Kotoka International Airport is not helping most of the international airlines.
“A chunk of the cost of airline tickets can be linked to these charges and taxes and not necessarily due to the fact that our tickets are expensive”, Mr. Ojik told Joy Business.
He spoke at the residence of the France Ambassador to the Ghana, Jules Armand Aniambossu to celebrate 90 years of Air France operations around the world.
Figures by the Ghana Airport Company shows that arrivals at the Kotoka International Airport have surpassed Pre-Pandemic levels with the Deputy Minister of Transport putting the number at more than one million.
Government is also projecting to reach about 2 million arrivals by next year.
What should we expect from Air France after 90 Years?
Mr. Ojik explained that even though Air France is committed to increasing its flights by three, the move will be aligned with opportunities in the secor to break even.
“The financials expectations need to be right and very importantly, we need to have the capacity and fleet as well to support this”,
Mr. Van Ojik also announced that from this year’s winter, Air France-KLM will be offering direct three times a week flights to Paris from Accra, with no stop-overs in Burkina Faso.
Mr.Van Ojik also announced that the airline will be offering 15 percent discount on booking made during this period.
He, however maintained that despite the three flights a week, together with KLM the company still remains the biggest airline in the country.
“At Group Level, Air-France–KLM now offers 10 flights a week into Ghana, that still makes us the biggest international airline in the this country”, Mr. Van Ojik said.
He added that together with KLM, the airline brings about 600 passengers on a daily basis to Ghana.
Air France and 90 Years of operations
According to some analysts, 90 years after its birth, Air France seems to be in good shape.
On October 7, 1933, then Aviation Minister in France, Pierre Cot decided to merge four financially troubled airlines, in response to the 1929 economic crisis, to form what was to become Air France.
It will finish “in the green. 2023 is a good year,” said Anne Rigail,Chief Executive Officer and the first woman to head Air France.
In the second quarter, the airline posted a positive operating income of €482 million. This was a return to better fortunes, reflecting “very strong demand on long-haul routes and particularly on the North Atlantic,” said the CEO.
Baptized in 1933, Air France – and air transport in general – only took its present form after the Second World War. Like Renault, Air France became nationalized in 1948, focusing on long-haul flights.
From the 1960s onwards, with its famous stewardess uniforms designed by Marc Bohan of Dior, Air France became part of the imagination of the French, who flocked to the terraces of Orly on Sundays to see its Caravelles and Boeing 707s take off.