Plans To Operate Flights To West Coast On Course-AWA

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Africa World Airlines (AWA) says its plans to operate flights to the West Coast of Africa is on course for 2015, after the outbreak of the Ebola viral disease stalled efforts to do so this year.

Africa World Airlines AircraftMr. Apiigy Afenu, chief operating officer of AWA, said although the Ebola outbreak had derailed AWA?s plans to acquire new aircrafts to start the flights this year, from a purely business perspective, he was happy that the aircrafts had not been delivered before the outbreak of the disease.

The delivery of the aircrafts, he explained, would have led to the loss of revenue for the airline since there would have been challenges with flying to the affected areas.

AWA has plans to operate flights to Freetown, Monrovia, Banjul and Dakar.

Mr Afenu, who was addressing journalists at a press soiree to mark the second anniversary of the airline?s operations in Ghana, said the airlines was expecting to receive the new aircraft, in February 2015.

AWA began operations on 21st, September, 2012.

Mr Ridwane Adamou, Business Development Manager at AWA, said the airline was taking all the necessary precautions on their existing flights, both domestic and regional, to guard against the spread of the disease.

He said the airline had trained its staff, both on the ground and on its flights, on how to handle passengers suspected to have the disease.

It had also provided them with the necessary protective gear including gloves, masks, and disinfectants.

?We have also stepped up the cleaning of our aircrafts in line with international standards in order to prevent the spread of diseases,? he said. ?We have, by our own initiative, also acquired temperature guns to screen passengers for abnormally high temperatures that might indicate the presence of the Ebola virus,? he stated.

Mr. Adamou said the airline?s participation in ?Exercise Obaatanpa?, a pandemic simulation exercise carried out at the Kotoka International Airport by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) , had adequately prepared it to deal with pandemic situations as might happen if an infected passenger was found on board its aircraft.

AWA, since it began operations, has gradually and steadily penetrated the domestic aviation market and has begun work on doing same on the regional market by commencing flights to Lagos, Nigeria.

There are plans to soon begin flights to Abuja.

It currently has three new ERJ145 aircraft in its fleet.

The airline is owned by four main shareholders with HNA of China being the parent company and majority shareholder. The other three are the China Africa Development Fund, Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and Togbe Afede XIV?s Strategic African Securities.

GNA

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