Africa World Airlines (AWA) has added its voice to the call on government to expedite action on the review of the Fifth Freedom Air Traffic Rights under the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) of the Yamoussoukro Decision.

AWA Launch Takoradi.jpg16036
AWA Launch Takoradi.jpg16036

Ms. Katherine-Lois Tosan Woode, the Chief Commercial Manager, in an interview with the GNA, said the implementation of the BASA, under the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision by Ghana had been on a case by case basis, as there was no one-size-fits-all approach, thus the need for the review by government.

The Fifth Freedom Rights refer to whether or not an airline registered in one country has the right to pick up passengers from another country to a third country, a practice which is happening at some level in Ghana, with airlines like Delta and Emirates flying passengers from Ghana to Monrovia and Abidjan respectively, under the Yamoussoukro Decision.

?We feel that this reform needs to be re-addressed and the Ministry of Transport has been trying to bring the stakeholders together to get their views and positions on the matter to come out with the best review, looking at the way travel has evolved over the years? she said.#

?This is what we are looking forward to, this is why Africa World is adding its voice to the bid for the review of the Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights policy.?

She noted that whereas previously, local and regional airlines were not in a position to deliver those services, they had been groomed and were getting ready to provide such services.

?Maybe in the beginning we could not do all these things like flying to the US and other countries, but we are getting ready, and our regulatory bodies including the GCAA, the Ministry and other bodies are propping us up, which is why most of the domestic and regional airlines are signing to the International Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) programme? she stated.

The move to attain IOSA certification, she explained, was to improve the airlines especially with regard to safety and security, and to make them compliant and up to international standards.

?It is a joint effort and it must happen from all stakeholders, we have to be regulated correctly, we have to be treated correctly, we have also got to step up and do our internal work, make sure our structures are in place? she said.

The AWA is currently undergoing the IOSA programme, an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. It is a rigorous process which assesses areas including structural, engineering, safety, regulatory, organisational, and security.

?By the time you passed the IOSA Audit, you are transformed for safety and security. We don?t know when we will finish but we are expecting to be signed up to the register very soon? she stated.

As an IOSA certified airline, AWA will be able to sign onto the International Clearing House (ICH) which will allow it to have code shares (sharing the cost for a journey between two airlines that carry the passenger) and interlines, that is, being able to share passengers? bags with another airline. This takes out the problem of having to take the bags off one airline to another on a code- shared journey.



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