The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) lost an estimated GHC 1.4million within a week of Emirates Airlines suspending direct flights between Accra and Dubai.
According to a publication by AviationGhana.com, GACL is bleeding due to the decision by Emirates to suspend flights between the two cities for health reasons.
The suspension of flights is linked to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded on outbound flights arriving in Dubai from Accra and Abidjan.
The state-owned company, which was one of the few profitable public entities that could secure loans on the back of its own balance sheet few years ago, was beginning to recover from the impact of the current pandemic until Omicron variant forced the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other governments to re-impose travel restrictions.
AviationGhana revealed that for an airline which operates a Boeing 777 to the KIA, with about 300 seats and a load factor of about 85 percent during the yuletide, the total runway, parking, security, and government charges per flight amount to about GHC 196,000.
Between December 28, 2021, when Emirates announced the indefinite suspension of flight to Accra and January 5, 2022, GHC 1.4million in potential aeronautical revenue was lost by GACL.
The losses exclude potential earnings from other airlines, which prior to the UAE flight ban for Ghanaian travellers, transported passengers via their hubs to the Gulf country. RwandAir, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines have also been affected.
Thousands of cedis in potential income has also been lost by travel and tour companies who have had to cancel many planned group tours during the yuletide.
Dubai remains one of the most sought after leisure and shopping destinations for Ghanaian travelers, due to its world-class amenities, ease of visa acquisition, and flight availability.
Meanwhile, Emirates Airlines extended the initial 48-hours ban for flights from Accra to Dubai indefinitely on December 28, 2021.
“Emirates flight suspension from Accra to Dubai effective December 27, 2021 is now extended until further notice,” the airline said in a communique to its trade partners on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.
The airline, however, said Dubai to Accra flights will continue for passengers holding confirmed bookings and meeting the entry requirements for Accra. The carriage of passengers to and from Abidjan has also been suspended.
Source:EVANS EFFAH | pulse.com.gh