Ghana has announced plans to relaunch its national airline by purchasing nine aircraft from Boeing and De Havilland and setting up new international routes.
The government signed an MoU at the Dubai Air Show to buy three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with a list price value of $877.5m, according to the state-owned Daily Graphic.
Previous state carrier Ghana International Airlines collapsed in 2010 when the government withdrew funding. Current Ghanaian airlines only fly on routes within Africa.
“We need to be able to ferry Ghanaians to Europe, North America to Asia for business. We need to ferry them from those places back to Ghana to do business and enjoy,” said aviation minister Joseph Kofi Adda, according to Reuters.
Ghana hopes its Dreamliners will enable it to schedule flights to Europe, North America and Asia by early 2020.
Ghana also aims to set up routes within the continent with up to six smaller Dash 8-400 aircraft, which have been provisionally ordered on Tuesday from Canada’s De Havilland.
Reuters reported that Ghana’s government would hold a 10% stake in the carrier, which is yet to be named.
The rest is due to be held by the private sector, the minister said. Adda has claimed to be in talks with regional carriers including Ghana-based Africa World Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines has also been linked with the venture.
However some media reports have been sceptical of the announcement. The Africa Report said it may be a political ploy ahead of elections scheduled for late 2020.
There has been a recent trend in African states reviving completely or partially-defunct national carriers.
Air Senegal was revived in 2018 while Tanzania plans to buy new Airbus jets to expand its state-owned national carrier’s routes. Zambia is relaunching its state airline more than 20 years after it closed.
Ghana’s economy is seen as stable following the conclusion of a three-year lending programme with the IMF in March.
Oil revenues have boosted its growth to make it one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.