The ACL application is the first step in the process to operate an airline business and details the general nature of the intended operations, financiers, and the proposed operating team.

According to AviationGhana sources at the GCAA, the four companies submitted their ACL applications in December, 2020.

Based on the documents submitted, the investors are seeking to operate domestic and regional flights to tap into the opportunities that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents in both the passenger and cargo side of the aviation business.

Since the re-opening of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on September 1, 2020, to scheduled passenger operations, 14 international airlines, five (5) regional airlines and two domestic airlines are currently servicing the KIA.

With the coming into effect of the AfCFTA on January 1, 2021 the need for a robust aviation sector to facilitate the transportation of people and goods produced by member countries to boost intra-Africa trade.

AfCFTA provides the opportunity for Africa to create the world’s largest free trade area, with the potential to unite 1.3 billion people in a US$2.5 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.

The main objectives of AfCFTA are to create a continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people and capital, and pave the way for creating a customs union.

It will also grow intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation across the continent.

AfCFTA is further expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access, and better reallocation of resources.

Ghana was selected to host the secretariat of AfCFTA, giving the country a pivotal role in overseeing the implementation of the agreement. The country committed US$10 million for the operationalisation of the secretariat located in the heart of Ghana’s capital Accra.