AviationGhana sources have confirmed that two major international airlines are planning to start a direct service between their hubs and the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi when the Kumasi International Airport is completed.
The two airlines believe that the region has the numbers to make any such future operation successful.
“We have been looking at the numbers and we think that it is something we want to do, even if it is a day or two in the week that we operate directly between our hub and Kumasi for a start,” a senior executive of one of the airlines said.
Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, is the busiest domestic destination and is currently served by both PassionAir and Africa World Airlines (AWA).
PassionAir and AWA, for instance, operate 20 flights per day between Accra and Kumasi.
Seats are hard to get especially during weekends when hundreds of people travel for social functions such as funerals, weddings and family meetings.
Industry data show that in 2019, a total of 16,499 people travelled by air between the two cities.
Expansion of Kumasi International Airport
Construction of a new terminal building and other ancillary works at the Kumasi Airport, which will make the operation of direct international flights to the airport possible is nearing completion, a visit by AviationGhana to the facility has revealed.
The project, valued at about US$300 million, comprised the extension of the runway from 1,981m to 2,300m to accommodate Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, construction of a new two-story ultra-modern terminal, construction of additional aprons, restaurants, shopping and parking areas, and a ring road around the airport.
It’s expected that the new terminal will have the capacity to handle one million passengers per annum.
The expansion project was part of the multi-modal transportation system being developed by the government to enhance tourism in the Ashanti Region.
The second phase of the project, which began in June 2018, is expected to be completed in 24 months.
Why the choice of Kumasi
The capital is one of the fastest-growing in the 16 regions of the country, with an estimated population of over 3 million.
Over the past two decades there has been rapid growth in commercial activities in the city, chiefly because of its ideal location in the middle-belt of the country. After Accra, Kumasi is the second-largest city in Ghana in terms of size and population.
A lot of traders from the region also travel to China and other countries in the East to bring in goods for retail locally.
Traders, farmers and cattle owners from Brong Ahafo and the northern parts of Ghana bring their wares to large markets in Kumasi to sell every day.
What is needed to make direct flights possible
Aside the regulatory approval by the aviation sector regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), various security agencies–the Ghana Immigration Service, National Security, the Narcotics Control Board and others–would need to be present on-ground with their systems fully installed and functional.
Additionally, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) would have to set up their system at the terminal building to ensure the right taxes on imported goods are paid.
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