The Turkish Government has expressed interest in partnering the Government of Ghana towards the operation of the proposed national airline.
The Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Nesrin Bayazit, made this known when she paid a courtesy call on Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the Minister of Aviation, in Accra, on Wednesday.
She said the Turkish Airlines had the biggest network in Africa flying to more than 50 destinations on the Continent.
“…And since there is a talk about establishing a national airline for Ghana, we’re looking at the possibility of being involved in this process,” she stated.
Ambassador Bayazit said a Turkish firm was contracted to construct the Terminal Three Facility of the Kotoka International Airport, therefore, Turkish firms were interested in supporting the construction of other projects for the country.
She said there were about 150 Turkish companies operating in Ghana, thus supporting the country’s development efforts. “We’re looking at the possibility of doing more business with the Ministry of Aviation or any other Ministry”.
Turkish companies operating in Ghana were also exploring opportunities to contribute towards the Government’s ‘One District-One Factory” programme, in order to accelerate the industrialisation agenda.
She lauded Ghana for her democratic credentials and political stability, saying that, the nation had a bright future, therefore, the Turkish Government would continue to work collaboratively towards achieving the development agenda.
The Aviation Minister welcomed the Turkish Ambassador’s plans, saying that the Government was prepared to collaborate with any airline that had good proposals for potential partnership.
The Government has already received proposals from the Ethiopian Airlines, Mauritius Airlines and Abu Dhabi Airlines, he said.
“But we have not closed our doors because discussions are ongoing and some elements of those discussions have been shared with the Cabinet and there is no conclusion yet,” he assured.
“Any good plan that comes from any airline for partnership is welcome, but the most important thing is that we fly the national flag or have a home-based carrier.”
Mr Adda said the Nana Akufo-Addo-led Government was serious about embracing Foreign Direct Investments, share risks and cost rewards, emphasising; “Government is prepared to negotiate with the Turkish Airlines for possible partnership”.
He said Ghana had viable and safe air routes to some African countries, Asia and Europe as well as other continents, therefore, investing in the country’s aviation sector would bring a lot of benefits to both countries.
Mr Adda emphasised Government’s vision and commitment to make Ghana the hub of aviation in the West African Sub-region, which he said, would deliver a lot of economic benefits.
“In that way, there will be a lot of visitors coming here, cargo coming through, and other economic benefits, besides the tax revenue, spending that is going to be done by passengers, mystery shopping, among other benefits”.
In that regard, the Minister stressed the need to expand the country’s aviation infrastructure to meet the international standards, citing the government’s plans to put up aviation infrastructure in the Central and Western regions to promote tourism and services in the petroleum industry.
He said the Government would embrace Turkish companies that would support in that regard, adding; “The nation will ensure value for money and the necessary procurement assessment”.
Apart from improving aviation infrastructure, Mr Adda emphasised that it would also look at improving service delivery and security and safety of patrons, as well as ensuring proper management of such facilities.
Therefore, the Government was exploring ways of training the human resource in the aviation industry so that they would offer the required services to clients, he added.