Ghana International Airlines goes shopping for aircrafts

giaGhana International Airlines (GIA), the beleagured national carrier has gone shopping for aircrafts for its operations.

Information available to says the GIA has mandated three companies to “source and finance two aircrafts for its operations.”

GIA reportedly has mandated these companies to source and finance a 767-300 and 737-700W aircrafts.

The three companies are New York-based Nell-Joy Industries, LatinoAmericana SA and Spinoza Ghana. Efforts by to trace the companies and get information from them about the deal were unsuccessful. While we were able to locate Nell-Joy Industries and put through phone calls to their office in New York, no official has been available to comment. We left messages on the answering machine of one Santa Origano, but our calls were never returned.

It has been difficult locating LatinoAmericana SA and Spinoza Ghana, either on the internet or any other means, as some of the aviation industry workers we contacted say they do not know about these companies, admitting that is because the market is huge.

Our reporter went to the offices of GIA to speak to officials, but they simply told him, they are unaware of such transactions and referred our reporter to a Transaction Advisor.

We also called officials of the Ministry of Transport, but they also said they were unaware of the transaction.

Meanwhile, when we spoke to some aviation expects in the country, they were rather skeptical of the success of any such transaction, as they all said the very management structure of the GIA needs to be thoroughly looked at.

They argued that the premises upon which the company operates is defective.

GIA is jointly owned by GIA USA, which has a 30% share and the government of Ghana which owns 70%. But sources close to the industry tell that there are about three groups that make up GIA USA, but none of them is known. “The whole business is shrouded in secrecy,” one source said.

The GIA which was formed out of Ghana Airways has been a phenomenal failure.  In March 2009, the Daily Graphic newspaper published a report which said, the ailing airline had presented fresh proposals to the government to help resuscitate it. According to the report, the airline had a debt stock of $59.36 million.

A lose making business, the GIA receives an amount of $1.5 million dollars monthly from the government of Ghana to finance its operations.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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