Mcdan launches private jet terminal but Transport Minister, GACL board boycott event

McDan Aviation has launched a private jet charter services along with an exclusive terminal at Terminal One of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), but leaders within the aviation sector and government officials boycotted the inaugural ceremony.

McDan Aviation’s private jet services will cater to high-end clientele with a sense of optimising luxury, and for corporate executives seeking to leverage a quick and efficient commute for the purpose of business.

Speaking during the launch on Friday evening, the Chief Executive of the McDan Group, Daniel Mckorley, said he was surprised this plan had come to fruition.

“I have a lot of joy in my heart because what everybody thought was impossible, we have made it possible,” Mr. Mckorley said.

“We have a very strong team that has supported me. Ghana Airport Company has rally supported me. Civil Aviation Authority has supported me,” he added.

According to him, jets shouldn’t just be viewed as just a luxury and that, his plan is to “bring private jets to the doorsteps of the diplomatic corp, politicians and the business community as a whole.”

He further urged Ghanaian businesses to make similar investments in Ghana.

“I believe this current government is a business government, and it is supporting us and will support us to make a very big difference and a big impact.”

Aviation leaders refuse to attend ceremony

Leaders within the sector refused to attend the inaugural ceremony following concerns raised against the firm by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).

GACL in a letter dated January 28, 2022, and sighted by Citi News, directed McDan Aviation to suspend the ceremony following some alleged breaches.

The Ghana Airport Company in the letter to McDan said it had “engaged in several activities without prior approval from GACL which have typically called for emergency corrective actions.”

It cited the commencement of the construction of the private jet terminal without a Plan of Construction Operation approval from GACL as an example.

“We only became aware of your construction activities during routine security patrols, and we had to ask you to stop and submit a PCO [Plan of Construction Operation] for review and approval before construction continued.”

Another letter the GACL wrote to the Minister of Transport also explained that, while McDan Aviation had satisfied all operational requirements to enable it open for business, it was “yet to fulfil its financial obligations to Ghana Airports Company Limited”.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Airport Company raises issues with McDan Aviation’s private jet terminal at KIA

The Ghana Airport Company Limited has raised a number of concerns against McDan Aviation’s private jet operations and a terminal at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

The company launched the private terminal and services on Friday, January 28, 2022, at an event boycotted by leadership of the Ghana Airport Company Limited and government officials.

Leaders within the sector, including the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, refused to attend the event following issues raised against the firm by the Ghana Airport Company Limited.

Financial obligations not met

A letter the GACL wrote to the Minister of Transport on January 24, 2022 and sighted by Citi News explained that, while McDan Aviation had satisfied all operational requirements to enable it open for business, it was “yet to fulfil its financial obligations to Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL). McDan owes GACL a total of US$4,505,034 and GHS227,293 respectively.”

It disclosed further that “as part of negotiating a payment plan, McDan paid GHS1,000,000 on January 19, 2022.”

The Ghana Airport Company also said McDan Aviation “is yet to agree on a Fixed Base Operator (Private Jet Terminal Operator) license fee with GACL.”

Alleged breaches

GACL in a letter dated January 28, 2022, directed McDan Aviation to suspend the commissioning ceremony following some alleged breaches.

The Ghana Airport Company, in the letter to McDan, said it had “engaged in several activities without prior approval from GACL which have typically called for emergency corrective actions.”

It cited the commencement of the construction of the private jet terminal without a Plan of Construction Operation approval from GACL as an example.

“We only became aware of your construction activities during routine security patrols, and we had to ask you to stop and submit a PCO [Plan of Construction Operation] for review and approval before construction continued.”

McDan Aviation received a license to operate as a fixed-base operator at the airport in 2019.

The letter from the Ghana Airport Company requested that McDan Aviation should postpone the launch of the private jet lounge yesterday.

GACL said it was given short notice to offer logistical support, among others, at the commissioning ceremony.

“The nature of our work demands that we should have been given a reasonable period of notice to enable us plan adequately through engagement of relevant staff and stakeholders.”

The Ghana Airport Company also said, “all attempts to meet with you for discussions in connection with the proposed inauguration over the past three days failed as a result of your failure to turn up for the planned meetings.”

The conduct of McDan Aviation also presented security concerns, according to the airport company.

It said security was heavily breached at the terminal on January 27 because of the parking of several vehicles in front of the terminal building.

“What makes this disturbing is that beyond verbal admonition, we had written to you the previous day, January 26, 2022, to the effect that cars could not be parked there.”

Inaugural ceremony

McDan Aviation’s private jet services will cater to high-end clientele with a sense of optimising luxury, and for corporate executives seeking to leverage a quick and efficient commute for the purpose of business.

Speaking during the launch on Friday evening, the Chief Executive of the McDan Group, Daniel Mckorley, said he was elated this plan had come to fruition.

“I have a lot of joy in my heart because what everybody thought was impossible, we have made it possible,” Mr. Mckorley said.

“We have a very strong team that has supported me. Ghana Airport Company has really supported me. Civil Aviation Authority has supported me,” he added.

According to him, jets shouldn’t just be viewed as just a luxury, and his plan is to “bring private jets to the doorsteps of the diplomatic corps, politicians and the business community as a whole.”

He further urged Ghanaian businesses to make similar investments in Ghana.

“I believe this current government is a business government, and it is supporting us and will support us to make a very big difference and a big impact.”

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Aviation This Week – Jan. 2022 Edition 3

In this edition some of the topical aviation industry stories between January 24 and 29, 2022 which are of relevance to Ghanaian travellers and readers are summarized as follows:

RwandAir Offering Discounted Sales for South African Flights

RwandAir has announced a 20% discount on its fares for its customers travelling to/from South Africa.

Per the terms, travellers are to use the promo code WBPROMO20 to enjoy the discount. Also, the offer will run until February 28, 2022, and will be valid for travel until December 10, 2022.

Bad Weather Forces Delta to Cancel Flights between New York and Accra

Strong winds and snow in some parts of the United States have forced Delta Air Lines and others to cancel some of their flight operations. As of the time of putting this piece together, Delta had its flights between New York and Accra cancelled for January 28 and 29, 2022.

Ethiopian Airlines Resumes Operations to Dubai

Ethiopian Airlines has announced the resumption of passenger services to Dubai effective January 29, 2022. Passengers departing from Accra via its hub in Addis Ababa will have to check the airline’s website for covid-19 protocols for entry into Dubai via transit points.

McDan Aviation Opens Ghana’s First Private Jet Terminal

McDan Aviation on January 28, 2022, officially inaugurated Ghana’s first commercial private jet operations terminal at the Kotoka International Airport. The company will operate chartered flight services among others from KIA’s Terminal 1 for corporate entities and private citizens with financial capabilities.

Facilities within the terminal are a conference room, VIP lounge, presidential suite, among others.

Royal Air Maroc Preparing to Resume Operations in February

According to multiple reports in Morocco, Royal Air Maroc is preparing to resume operations to and from Morocco on February 7, 2022. The decision follows the suspension of all operations by the airline on

December 29, 2021, after the government of Morocco, closed its borders.

United Opens Flight Training School

United Airlines this week opened its flight training school in Arizona to train pilots as part of its plans to recruit at least 10,000 new pilots by 2030.

The United Aviate Academy which seeks to train at least 5,000 pilots for the airline by 2030 has 80% of its first class of students being women or people of colour.

GACL Calls on McDan to Postpone Inauguration of Private Jet Terminal

The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) in a strongly-worded letter dated January 28, 2022, called on McDan Aviation to postpone the inauguration of the commercial private jet terminal at the Kotoka International Airport. The GACL attributes its reason to the persistent disregard of aviation safety and security procedures by McDan.

Despite GACL’s letter, the event came off as planned on January 28, 2022.

Fully Vaccinated Persons to Travel to the UK Without Covid-19 Tests

The UK Government has announced that all persons who have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 will no longer be required to undergo any further covid-19 tests entry tests when travelling to the UK effective 4 am on February 11, 2022.

Persons below 18years will be classified as fully vaccinated.

Baby Jet Airlines not relocating to Cote D’Ivoire

The Management of Ghanaian registered airline company, Baby Jet Airlines has indicated that contrary to social media reports, it will not be relocating its headquarters to Cote D’Ivoire.

Reports on social media were that Asamoah Gyan, a former captain of the national team was relocating his business due to the bureaucracy affecting its commercialization plans.

Insurance Commission Debunks Reports of Compulsory Insurance Purchase for Arriving International Travellers

The National Insurance Commission has called on the general public especially international travellers arriving in Ghana to disregard reports of compulsory purchase of an insurance policy dubbed Akwaaba Insurance effective March 2022.

The commission says at the moment such a policy has not been approved yet.

Despite Seeking to Partner Government Establish National Airline

According to media reports, the owner of the Despite Group of Companies, Osei Kwame Despite has expressed interest in helping to partner with the government in setting up a national airline for Ghana. Per the reports, he intends to establish an airline company, Ashanti Airlines to partner with the government.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Mane resumes Senegal training after head injury

Senegal star Sadio Mane has returned to training ahead of Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final against Equatorial Guinea after suffering suspected concussion in their last match.

“He’s doing well,” Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said Saturday, suggesting the Liverpool forward would be available despite taking a heavy blow to the head in a 2-0 win over Cape Verde in the last 16.

“He resumed training yesterday. We’re gradually following his development and he’s going to train today.”

Mane was hurt in a collision with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha, who was sent off as a result. Mane stayed on the pitch and scored the opening goal a few minutes later but was eventually substituted.

“The clash between the two players was a serious one, but he’s a top-level athlete who knows his own body very well,” said Cisse, explaining his decision to allow Mane to initially carry on playing.

“When the clash happened he continued to play, our doctors came onto the pitch, the referee was there too. He was still conscious, the proof was him scoring the first goal.

“He still had his wits about him when he came off. There was no alert on the bench that pushed us to make a change. But I can reassure you, the health of Sadio Mane and of all the players is very important.

“We’ve never gambled with the health of our players, the result will not be placed on top of that.”

Cisse also revealed that Bamba Dieng, who scored the second goal in injury time against Cape Verde, had been held out of training on Thursday and Friday as a precaution with a minor knock.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

2021 AFCON: Toko Ekambi scores brace as Cameroon cruise over Gambia

Karl Toko Ekambi scored two second-half goals as hosts Cameroon beat The Gambia to move into the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Toko Ekambi headed his country ahead in the 50th minute, glancing in from Collins Fai’s right-wing cross.

It became 2-0 seven minutes later with Toko Ekambi finishing at the back post following Martin Hongla’s low delivery.

Cameroon will play either Egypt or Morocco in the semi-final on Thursday, with the final next Sunday.

The Gambia were competing in the tournament for the first time and beat Mauritania and Tunisia in the group phase to reach the knockout stages, before eliminating Guinea in the last 16.

But, in front of a passionate home crowd at Japoma Stadium in Douala, The Gambia were outclassed and could have fallen behind in the first half.

Fai fired into the side-netting from 30 yards before Vincent Aboubakar – the tournament’s leading goalscorer with six – glanced a header just wide, and was then denied from another close-range header as goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye produced an excellent save.

However, The Gambia’s resistance was broken early in the second half as Toko Ekambi rose above defender James Gomez to head five-time Afcon winners Cameroon into the lead with his fourth goal of the tournament.

His fifth came shortly afterwards when he got on the end of Hongla’s inviting cross.

The other semi-final will see the winners of Saturday’s second match, Burkina Faso v Tunisia, play either Senegal or Equatorial Guinea.

Cameroon were playing for the first time since eight supporters, including an eight-year-old boy, lost their lives in a crush outside Olembe stadium in Yaounde on Monday before the last-16 win over Comoros.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

E-Levy may lead to 24% drop in MoMo transactions – John Kumah

The government is expecting Mobile Money transactions to drop by 24 percent after the introduction of the controversial Electronic Transactions Levy, a deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah, has said.

Speaking on The Big Issue, Mr. Kumah said the government also had a plan to boost education on the controversial e-levy.

“A [recent] research show that there will be a about 24 percent attrition rate in the three months to six months that we will introduce it.”

“The research also told us what should be done to bring back these people after a while, and we have all these things in place,” Mr. Kumah said.

“It is a matter of engagement and letting people understand that, don’t avoid it. It is your pride of place as a Ghanaian to know that your contribution is helping to build your country.”

Mr. Kumah also said the government is “more than confident” that the level of attrition rate “will not lead to job losses.”

The government has proposed a new 1.5 percent rate for the levy, which was earlier pegged at 1.75%, despite the rejection by the Minority in Parliament and opposition from a section of the public.

Among the critics have been mobile money vendors who fear job losses in their sector.

In line with these concerns, the Mobile Money Association of Ghana petitioned the Minority caucus in Parliament to push for the rejection of the tax policy.

It also called for more consultations on the issue.

The value of mobile money transactions reached GH¢89.1 billion in 2021 after a 96.7 percent increase from the previous year.

The government has defended the unpopular levy as being necessary to widen the tax net, arguing that it could raise an extra GH¢ 6.9 billion to execute developmental projects in 2022 and beyond.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Toko-Ekambi goals fire Cameroon into Cup of Nations semi-finals

Cameroon are through to the semi-finals of their Africa Cup of Nations after Karl Toko-Ekambi’s double fired them to a 2-0 win over Gambia on Saturday in the hosts’ first game at the tournament since the deadly crush in Yaounde.

French-born Lyon striker Toko-Ekambi scored two goals in the space of eight minutes at the start of the second half, leading to scenes of ecstatic celebration in Douala.

His goals were just reward for Cameroon, who completely dominated against a Gambian side appearing in their first ever Cup of Nations.

Reaching the quarter-finals was an extraordinary performance for the tiny west African country, while Cameroon march on to a last-four showdown with either Egypt or Morocco as they continue their quest for a sixth continental title.

The host nation’s first and only visit to the country’s economic capital in the tournament meant there was always going to be a frenzied atmosphere in this chaotic, football-mad city as fans descended on the Japoma Stadium.

The Indomitable Lions had not taken to the field since Monday’s tragic crush prior to their last-16 game against the Comoros in Yaounde, a disaster which left eight dead and 38 injured.

Security stepped up

Authorities here massively stepped up their security operation around the ground in an attempt to make sure there was no repeat.

Army officers with rifles stood atop buildings lining the route to the stadium while vast numbers of police patrolled the streets and watched over entrances.

On the eve of the game Cameroon’s sports minister gave a press conference to announce a raft of measures aimed at avoiding a repeat of the Olembe disaster.

Those included stopping the distribution of free tickets and banning children under 11 from attending games.

The minister also urged supporters to arrive earlier, and the gates at Japoma opened five hours prior to kick-off.

That meant the deafening noise of vuvuzelas filled the air well before the Cameroon team arrived at the ground, dancing their way from the bus to the changing room, and only stopped momentarily for the silence in memory of the crush victims.

Coronavirus restrictions put in place for the AFCON have restricted crowds to a maximum of 60 percent of capacity but that is raised to 80 percent when the host nation play, meaning an official attendance of 36,259 for this game.

Cameroon were the overwhelming favourites against tiny Gambia, although Toni Conceicao’s side had laboured to beat the Comoros, another AFCON debutant and who were forced to play an outfield player in goal.

There might have been some doubts in the home camp at half-time after they completely bossed the first 45 minutes without getting the breakthrough.

Vincent Aboubakar, the Cameroon captain and the tournament’s top scorer, sent one header just wide shortly after the half-hour mark and then saw another attempt from point-blank range swatted away by Gambian goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye.

Yet the opening goal came just five minutes into the second half, the excellent right-back Collins Fai crossing and Toko-Ekambi nodding down into the far corner.

Out came the vuvuzelas, and the crowd were on their feet again on 57 minutes as the impressive Martin Hongla sent a low ball across goal for Toko-Ekambi to finish emphatically for his fifth goal at this AFCON.

Pending confirmation from the Confederation of African Football, Cameroon are now due to return to Olembe for their semi-final on Thursday, and possibly for the final next Sunday too.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

KoKMA to deploy compliance officers to enforce “Clean Your Frontage” campaign on February 1

The Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region will, effective February 1 deploy Environmental Health officers across the municipality to enforce the Operation Clean Your Frontage initiative.

It has, therefore, encouraged all citizens in the municipality to participate in the initiative to avoid falling foul to the sanitation bye-law.

The sanitation by-law states that, “A person who undertakes any commercial or industrial activity shall ensure that the drains and frontage of that premise up to the middle of the road are clean and kept neat at all times.”

Also by the national law, “any person who fails to keep the above standards contravenes section 296 sub-section 18 of Act 29/60.”

The Assembly, in a statement signed and issued by Mr Nii Adjei Tawiah, Municipal Chief Executive, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said any person found culpable would be prosecuted.

“In view of this, Environmental Health officers will be going round all electoral areas in the municipality to inspect and ensure compliance of the sanitation provisions to promote a clean and healthy environment.

“All are encouraged to play their part as responsible citizens in the municipality,” the statement added.

The “Operation Clean Your Frontage” was introduced by the government as part of measures to better the sanitation situation in Accra.

The initiative, being championed by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, is under the auspices of the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council and the ‘Let’s make Accra work’ agenda.

The initiative has received little participation and patronage from the public since it was launched in October, last year.

 

Source: Modern Ghana