Domestic Airlines On Death Row

You can only go by road to Kumasi, Tarkoradi or Tamale in the future if the current trend in domestic aviation continues.
The incremental costs associated with operating domestic carriers are making domestic air travel unsustainable. This half, the airport authorities added another cost to their domestic airline operations—a directive to outsource their ground handling operations, hitherto handled in-house, to specialized contractors.
“Our operational cost is likely to go up by 10 percent depending on the Service Level Agreement,” Patrick Gymanena, Ground Dispatch Supervisor of Africa World Airlines (AWA) told Business World about the implication of the directive.
Aside operational cost, there have been other impacts relating to this directive; AWA has had to lay off 4 ground handling staff, but there are even more far reaching implications:

“Although cost is going up [increased cost due to outsourcing], the airlines will absorb it, but it will likely affect sustainability of airlines,”
Selby Twumasi-Ankrah, Chief Director of the Transport Ministry catalogues 4 reasons for the directive: security, high premiums from insurance, reduction of human intervention on the air side and the quest to meet ICAO standard requirements.
“We know domestic airlines cannot bear the brunt of high premiums charged by insurance companies. We also want to reduce human intervention on the air side as much as possible, adhering to strict ICAO standards of safety and security,” he reasoned.
This is not the first time domestic airlines have had to absorb additional cost they have not anticipated. In July, domestic airlines were asked to add 15 % Value Added Tax (VAT) and 2.5% National Health Insurance (NHIL) to their air fares. At that time, domestic airlines absorbed the taxes and did not increase their fares.

CitylinK, fly540 and Antrak Air are currently not flying domestic routes. In June this year, Antrak Air announced that it was suspending operations for the next 3 months due to opera-tional reasons, but has not resumed operations after five months.

The two operational domestic airlines– AWA and Starbow Airlines are still saddled with landing fees, fuel surcharge, taxes, VAT, air traffic control, overnight charges, and undercar-riage services. Ghana is a significantly expensive destination to operate a domestic airline from; and a domestic venture will be far from profitable if it is not supported by regional routes.