Source: B&FT - Indigenous airline Starbo, has commenced flights between Accra and the Brong Ahafo regional capital Sunyani, making it the only operator currently on the route.
Antrak Air, which hitherto was the only operator on the said route, suspended its operations weeks back -- leaving passengers with no option but to travel to Sunyani via Kumasi or go by road.
The maiden flight, which was operated on a new Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft that can seat up to 78 passengers, is expected to fill the void.
The Airline will operate flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing Accra at 12:15pm with the return flight departing Sunyani at 1:40pm.
Mr. Eric Antwi, Starbow’s Chief Executive Officer, said the airline’s new Accra-Sunyani route has come to stay and is not a temporary operation.“We have come to stay, so we will study the market to see how it goes and possibly introduce a daily fight from Accra to Sunyani,” he said.
He stressed the need for government to support domestic airline operators by temporarily suspending implementation of the 17.5 percent VAT on domestic travel. The consumption tax was applied to all domestic air tickets purchased by airlines on July 1 at the instance of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
This has led to a significant increase in air fares, with passengers opting for cheaper alternative in the form of comfortable air-conditioned buses that cost a fraction of airfares."A lot of the Kumasi travellers are trying to come by road.
We need to grow the domestic airline industry; before we grow it, the prices must be affordable to the passengers to buy the tickets.The tax has shot up the prices and I think they need to bring it down. We have been in touch with government and we are hoping they will suspend it until later on,” he said.
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