Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our aircraft are safe – Antrak Air Ghana

Domestic airline, Antrak Air has lashed out at people who are demanding that all its aircraft be grounded immediately by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) over safety concerns.

The call follows a fire incident last week in which the engine of one of its aircraft heading to Accra from Tamale caught fire mid air.

Safety concerns This is not the first time the airline which began operations in 2003 has encountered such an incident, last year it suffered a similar fate.

The airline was grounded in May last year after a technical fault was detected in one of its aircraft meant to fly passengers from Tamale to Accra.

It resumed operations in August that same year after about two months of being grounded.

Some customers of the airline however allege most of its aircraft are old and may be the cause of the incidents but the airline maintains such assertions are unfounded.

Antrak’s defense Its General Manager, Kwaku Antwi-Boasianko fears the airline is being picked on because it’s a wholly owned Ghanaian company.

“There is no growing incident, Antak has not had any incident where someone has been injured or died on its aircraft over its years in operation. So why are they doing this is it because it is a Ghanaian who owns the airline and we always seek to destroy Ghanaians?”

He added that “an incident has happened on an airline that is five years old the other aircraft that are operating in Ghana do they know the age of those ones and they are going about saying we are operating old ones. Incidents do happen in aviation just like it does in other sectors and when they do you let the appropriate authority investigate but you just don’t ground the airline.”

Mr. Antwi-Boasianko gave the assurance that Antrak’s aircraft are safe to fly.

Market leader Antrak is currently the most flown domestic airline in Ghana. It claimed the number one spot in the country’s domestic aviation sector as the most flown airline between September last year and March of this year.

Figures released by the Ghana Airport Company Limited for the last and first quarter of this year and 2012 showed that the airline claimed 39 percent of passengers in the industry within that period.

Antrak had 158,258 passengers in the period leading its closest competitor Starbow which had 141,588.

Antrak is a wholly owned Ghanaian company owned by business mogul, Asuma Banda and it began operations in 2003.

It is one of the first airlines to commence operations in the sector which critics say has put it at an advantage and may have contributed to its current position.

But Mr. Antwi-Boasiako told Citi Business News, a combination of factors including offering the lowest fares and best services accounts for its current position.

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