African World Airlines (AWA) has expressed shock at its hurling to court by the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) over discrimination against persons with disabilities.
The GSPD has dragged three local airlines Antrak Air, Starbow Airlines and African World Airlines to court for discriminating against persons with disabilities by way of refusing to sell flight tickets to them.
GSPD is also seeking an interlocutory injunction against the respondents not to deny such persons who desire to travel on their aircraft services, pending the determination of a substantive suit.
Joined to the action is the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, who the applicant wish the court would restrain from overlooking, and or refusing to ensure that the other respondents comply with Section 28 (1) of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715).
Section 28 (1) of Act 715 states that: ?The Civil Aviation Authority and any other authority responsible for the management of a port shall provide facilities that will aid the movement of a person with disability at the port?.
An affidavit in support of the motion and deposed by Mr Elvis Kosi Alikpui, a member of the society, said the applicant had caused a writ of summons to be issued against the respondents jointly and severally, which had been duly served on them.
A member of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled Elivis Alikpui who spoke to Citi Business News on the matter said they will pursue the matter to the latter.
?I feel being discriminated against; I can also see that there is no possibility for we the persons with disability to be onboard domestic flights in the country to any part of Ghana and I feel discriminated against per the section 6 and 7 of the disability act 715 this case must be in court.?
According to a member of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled when this continues disable people we will be ignored by society. He told Citi Business News that when the issue happened they went to Antrak Air head office but we did not go to the head office the other airlines but they were going by what they see and hear at the airport. Elivis Alikpui intimated that the instructions from the IATA is not his problem but what we are working with is the Ghanaian laws because he does not know any international organization who says disabled people should not be carried by the airlines or carried by their staff.
?The problem is we were discriminated against by our local airlines and we will sue them as we have done and they also we have to hold those we have given them new laws responsible.?
But speaking to Citi Business News the Chief Operations Officer of African World Airlines Apiigy Afenu denied the accusations adding that the company is on record to have airlifted persons with disabilities.
?I don?t know why they included us in this lawsuit, because we are on record and the other airlines are also on record to have carried physically challenged passengers.?
Chief Operations Officer of African World Airlines said if there was one instance that this didn?t happen he thought there was a more amicable way of solving this case then resulting to the court.
?You know at the end of the day lawyers become rich at our expense. We even carried some high profile physically challenge passengers like Ivor Greenstreet, we carried all the way to Lagos and back so I don?t know where this one is coming from.?
Chief Operating Officer of African World Airlines Apigy Afenu
NORVAN ACQUAH – HAYFORD