The Ministry of Aviation says it has rejected British Airways (BA)’s plan to move the London-Accra-London flights from the Heathrow Airport to Gatwick Airport this summer.
The Ministry in a press release issued on Tuesday, said the “The Ministry in a letter to the BA Authorities, rejected the changes and categorically informed British Airways that ‘for the avoidance of doubt, we are unable to accept the change in the London-Accra-London flights originating from Gatwick Airport.”
The statement said BA in a letter to the Ministry said it had decided to operate the airline’s Ghana services from London Gatwick Airport.
Following this, the statement said the Ministry convened a meeting under the instance of the sector Minister, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, to discuss the matter.
The statement said at the meeting, the BA team promised to provide further information and data analysis to support their reason for the changes from Heathrow Airport to Gatwick.
“The BA team is yet to provide any information as promised,” the statement said.
Consequently, the statement said the Ministry, in a letter to the BA authorities, rejected the changes and categorically informed BA that “for the avoidance of doubt, we are unable to accept the change in the London-Accra-London flights originating from Gatwick Airport.”
Industry watchers are of the view that BA’s decision to move Ghana’s services to Gatwick was to cut cost.
They said the airline industry had been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic hence the need to adopt effective and efficient measures to stay in business and remain competitive.
British Airways, facing slumping demand due to coronavirus, has secured a £2 billion (S$3.6 billion) loan, the parent group IAG.
BA, which is slashing thousands of jobs as it battles to survive fallout from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, also currently faces industrial action in a pay dispute with cargo workers at London’s Heathrow airport.
International Airlines Group (IAG) announces that British Airways has received commitments for a five-year term-loan Export Development Guarantee Facility of £2 billion underwritten by a syndicate of banks, partially guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF).
British Airways expects to drawdown the facility in January 2021 subject to agreement of final terms with the lenders and UKEF.
UK Export Finance is a state-backed agency which guarantees finance for British companies in order to help them win valuable exports.
The loan, which includes restrictions on dividend payments by the airline to IAG, is aimed at helping BA tap into an anticipated vaccine-driven recovery in global aviation next year.
BY DAVID ADADEVOH