Today marks a great day in the history of the African aviation industry. Two big carriers in two big countries signed an MoU to achieve a common goal which is the core of their vision as airlines.
South African Airways (South Africa), an 85-year-old carrier "got married to" Africa World Airlines (Ghana), a fast-growing 6-year old carrier under the auspices of the Ministry of Aviation, Ghana. The quest to expand the aviation network and to better serve passengers needs, such as travelling time and convenience, these two carriers came together to form a partnership.
As said by the Co-founder and Chairman of Africa World Airlines (AWA), the common vision, "to be a World-Class Airline" and connect Africa to the World made this partnership feasible. This relationship started in 2015 when South African Airways (SAA) decided to make Ghana a hub for its Wahington route.
This partnership has grown further into an Interline Electronic Ticketing (IET), where passengers are offered a through ticket between AWA and SAA. For example, a passenger travelling from Johannesburg to any of AWA's route network (Freetown, Lagos, Abuja, Tamale, Takoradi or Kumasi), can now buy a one ticket involving SAA and AWA and have a seamless check-in procedure between two international airports via Accra.
This falls directly with the vision of the government to make Ghana an aviation hub in West Africa.
According to Mr Sean Mendis, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Africa World Airlines, their operations grew by 400% due to the flexibility of the new 'Terminal 3' of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Ghana. The initial phase of the Interline agreement since inception "has delivered a minimum of 15 passengers connecting through T3 of KIA via AWA", Sean Mendis (COO).
The CEO of SAA, Mr Vuyani Jarana said that "we are a firm believer that for Africa to be connected, it is not going to be just one airline but it will take partnerships and collaborations between airlines such as ours to create better and wider connectivity.”
The signing of the MOU was also witnessed by the Deputy Minister for Aviation Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah, High Commissioner for South Africa Lulu Xingwana, Board Chairman of Africa World Airlines Togbe Afede, Ceo of AWA John Quan, Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Simon Allotey, Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited Yaw Kwakwa , Directors at the Ministry of Aviation, IATA Rep. Samson Fatokun and other stakeholders in the industry.