Passengers travelling between Accra and Takoradi will from May 1 have more travelling options, as Africa World Airlines (AWA) becomes the third indigenous airline to operate flight between the two cities.
AWA, which has been operating for the past two years, currently operates flight from its base in Accra to Kumasi, Tamale, and Lagos, Nigeria.
The Accra-Takoradi flight to be operated on an Embraer ERJ 145LR aircraft, which can seat up to 50 passengers, is expected to increase competition on the route already plied by Starbow and Antrak airlines.
Latest figures released by airport authorities indicate a significant increase in domestic travel.
Takoradi is the third busiest domestic destination in the country behind Kumasi and Tamale.
Total passenger throughput on all four domestic destinations increased to 730,000 last year, a 10,000 increase over the previous year’s passenger throughput of 720,000.
Out of the 2013 total passenger throughput recoded, Kumasi accounted for 470,000 passengers; Tamale 470,000; and Takoradi 162,000.
The growth in air traffic between Accra and Takoradi has kept up with the growth in economic activities in the Western Regional capital following the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in 2008.
The start of commercial oil production in 2010 attracted a lot of multinational companies operating in the upstream and mid-stream oil sector. Local businesses providing supporting services to the oil sector have also set up offices in the region to provide tailor made services to the sector.
This, coupled with the already large presence of mining, quarrying and lumber companies operating in the region has made it one of the busiest commercial centers in the country.
Banking services, hospitality, leisure, restaurants, and retail businesses have all seen an increase in the capital over the past five years.
Senior High Schools, tertiary schools and tourists attractions have continued to attract a lot of patronage from locals and foreigners.
The increased investment in aerodromes and general aviation infrastructure in the country is an indication of the projected growth in the industry. There is also a growing demand for travel in the West African sub-region, which has been described as “grossly underserved.” This presents an immense opportunity for local airlines and new entrants alike.
Local airlines have expressed interest in operating inter-regional flights between Kumasi and Takoradi, and Kumasi and Tamale– an option not available for passengers now.