The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr Mesfin Tasew Bekele, has advised the government not to interfere in the operations of the proposed national carrier.
According to him, the constant interference of governments in the operations of their national airline had led to the collapse of several national airlines in Africa.
“Once airlines are set up, it has to be left alone without any interference to do their businesses comfortably and manage cost. Any airline that does not manage its cost is doomed to fail,” he explained.
He said this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra last Friday.
Mr Bekele noted that the government needed to bolster the leadership that would run the national airline when it was set up.
The CEO expressed the desire in partnering with the government to set up a national carrier, saying, “We are ready to support the Ghanaian government in establishing a national carrier but the mode of engagement would need to be evaluated”.
He noted that the airline’s decision to deepen its relationship with Africa and Ghanaians necessitated the increase of its weekly flights from Ghana to other parts of the world from seven to 11 flights.
Mr Bekele hinted at further investment into the airline’s cargo operations as it was the second most important business of the airline since it helped it stay afloat while other airlines collapsed globally.
The CEO expressed worry over the delay in the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) project by the African Union, saying that it would advance the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa.
He noted that the delay of the member countries of the AU to push for the implementation of the project fully was “the fear of it crippling the operations of their local airlines, however such excuse was narrow”.
“SAATM would accelerate the development of the air transport industry in Africa, and also the overall growth and prosperity of Africa, I hope African leaders would take practical steps in ensuring the project is fully implemented,” Mr Bekele said.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE