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PassionAir suspends flights to Ho over fuel price hikes, high exchange rates – Citi Business News

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Local airline operator, PassionAir, has suspended flights to the Volta Regional capital, Ho.

According to the airline, although the new Ho route did not enjoy much patronage, the decision to suspend flights to that part of the country is mainly due to the increase in fuel prices.

The airline, which started scheduled domestic operations in Ghana in August 2018, from its Accra hub to Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, and later Wa, began flying to Ho only four months ago.

In an interview with Citi News, Sales and Marketing Manager with PassionAir, Samuel Razak Tachie, said though the suspension is indefinite, it will resume flights to Ho as soon as fuel prices stabilize.

“Usually, when you start a route like this, it takes time to build up with the number of passengers. But in the course of time with the hikes in fuel prices and the exchange rate, we had some issues that were very challenging for us. So that is what has led to this suspension.”

“This is the first time the Ho route has not been operated on commercially, but the patronage has been very low and unfortunately the fuel prices and the depreciation of the cedi did not help matters. But our suspension of the Ho route is not permanent. It has been suspended for now and the company is assessing the situation to ascertain the way forward.”

The flights were scheduled for weekends to Ho at a GH¢150 fare which saw some traffic, but that declined over time.

Speaking to aviation specialist, Sean Mendis, he noted that the suspension of PassionAir’s flights to Ho “was unfortunately inevitable in the current conditions.”

He added that “developing a new route like that [Accra-Ho] requires proper scheduling around a hub bank, something that PassionAir simply doesn’t have the distribution capability to implement at this stage”.

Sean Mendis further stated that “if there was a way to make the route work under present conditions, Africa World Airline (AWA) would have already started it.”

According to Mendis, “the problem in Ghana right now is that the existing markets are growing so fast that you can’t really afford to waste an aircraft developing a loss-making route to Ho for a few years when the opportunity exists to make money in Tamale or Takoradi instead.”



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Economy growing strongly, data suggests robust pick-up – Governor

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The Ghanaian economy is growing strongly despite the threat of rising inflation and the recent sharp volatility of the cedi, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison has pointed out.

According to him, data secured by his outfit so far indicates that the economy continues to rebound, irrespective of the challenges.

Speaking to Bloomberg ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which began yesterday, 18th May, 2022, Dr. Addison said he real sector of the economy has been resilient despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Ghanaian situation in a sense also reflects what happened in 2020 where the government took a very expansionary stance on policy. Therefore there were many interventions that was put into place in order to protect lives and livelihoods.”

“The impact of that was real sector being more resilient than we see in other places. As I said, we are beginning to see a pick-up in growth in 2021”, Dr. Addison emphasised.”

Indeed, sectors such as Information, Communications and Technology; Tourism and Hospitality; Manufacturing have bounced back, registering strong growth rates.

“Some of the data that has come in 2022 does not suggest that we are slowing down”, the Governor noted.

“I believe, if we were to choose between growth and inflation, the policy priority should be managing the pace at which prices are increasing”, he added.

Economy expanded by 5.4% in 2021 – GSS

Ghana’s economy expanded by 5.4% in 2021, far higher than the 0.4% recorded in the year 2020, a period that COVID-19 pandemic had severely hit the global economy.  

Without oil, the economy recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9%

According to provisional estimate by the Ghana Statistical Service, only 10 countries in Africa recorded growth rates higher than that of Ghana. They included Cote d’ lvoire and Uganda.

The strong growth rate was driven by the Services sector, particularly the Information, Communication and Technology (33.1%) and the Agriculture sector, such as Fishing (13.4%).

The Services sector recorded the highest GDP growth rate of 9.4% in 2021.



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Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

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The first batch of young individuals who signed onto the Believe in Ghana (BiG) project in Kumasi have graduated to venture into the creative arts and manufacturing industries.

The Believe in Ghana (BiG) project trains young aspiring entrepreneurs to take charge in the creative arts and manufacturing sectors.

Trainees are engaged in bakery and pastries, soap and bleach making, batik and tie and dye as well as beads making.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

Project originator, Tony Donkor, says the employment rate of the youth in Ghana needs to be addressed through such innovations.

“The project intends to raise a generation of knowledgeable youth who can take up the manufacturing space in order to secure a brighter future for the Ghanaian youth.

“The project intends to equip illiterate, semi-literate and literate persons with the skills set to secure a better future in the absence of a salaried job” he said.

The BiG project has seen partnership with the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi who created the avenue for individuals to be trained through localized methods.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

Deputy Director for Performing Arts at the Centre, Mustapha Issa, says locally-manufactured items need the necessary patronage to promote local industrialization and national culture.

According to him, “people often portray cultural products as fetish and they do not want to patronize it, but if we can reorient the definition of culture to ourselves, people can then appreciate it.”

He added that, “accepting the cultural values our products stand will bring great benefit from.”

Mr. Issa also advised that the country takes its cultural values seriously in order to preserve the rich heritage as a people.

He indicated that, “our music, movies and arts should represent our heritage, rather than degrading it.”

The first cohort of 15 trainees under the project shared their experiences on the impact.

“I work in a travel agency and we usually host events where attires are worn. I signed up to the project so I can learn how to make apparels to get the contract for myself and make some money as well,” said Doreen.

Another participant, Sumaila said “I am a musician and I wanted to add a clothing line to it, so I enrolled to learn how to make batik Tie and Dye. I can use the technique to create my own brand in addition to the music I do”.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

The BiG project intends to train over 10,000 persons in the Ashanti Region and further extend to other regions of the country.

The Believe in Ghana Project is under the operation of Techno Genesis, in partnership with The Multimedia Group, Kumasi and the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi.



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Loyalty Insurance MD raises concern about unhealthy competition in industry

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The Managing Director of Loyalty Insurance Company Limited, Ernest Frimpong, has expressed worry about some unhealthy practices in the insurance sector.

According to him, even though Ghana’s insurance market is highly competitive, characterised by a lot of innovation, some unethical practices like premium undercutting could hamper growth of the industry.

“The Ghana insurance market is a highly competitive and dynamic marketplace,” Mr. Frimpong said.

“There is a dichotomy; on one hand, the market is characterised by innovation, and on the other hand, there is also some unhealthy competition in the market. The issue of undercutting premiums has been around for a while. We need to change this narrative; we need stronger cooperation among ourselves for the benefit of our industry”. He added.

The Loyalty Insurance MD spoke at the company’s fifth anniversary celebration launch themed, “Growing through digitalisation.”

The company unveiled four new digital applications which it believes will place it at the forefront of technological innovation in the insurance sector.

The Managing Director also expressed gratitude to shareholders of the company for raising capital to meet the National Insurance Commission’s minimum capital requirement of ¢50 million.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori, commended the management and staff for embracing technology as part of their operations.

He urged them to re-strategise and remain customer-focused in order to remain relevant in the industry.

“Let me congratulate management and staff of Loyalty Insurance Company Limited for the attainment of five years of growth and consistent success and express my gratitude to all who have contributed to making the company what it is today,” he said.



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