Retired pilot to government: Allow experts to run national airline or else forget it

Michael Foli, a retired pilot, believes the government can rake in more revenue if it concentrates on developing a domestic aviation industry

Michael Yao Foli, a retired pilot, has advised the Government of Ghana to pay more attention to developing the domestic aviation sector to rake in more revenue, instead of establishing a national airline.

Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah for Sunday Night on Asaase Radio on 5 September, Captain Foli said the government must show the political will to allow experts to run a national carrier, or else it will collapse.

“It’s the political will. If we’re not willing to run it properly, let’s stop this talk of forming a national airline … Let’s concentrate on running domestic and regional operations and let a foreigner come and do it from our backyard,” Foli said.

“You mention successful domestic operators. There is one airline [Africa World Airlines] that is doing well. They have operated for ten years; we can look at their books,” Foli said.

“And they have some form of partnership with about five international airlines. This should indicate to us that they would have loved to operate international routes but they don’t have the clout.”

He added: “For a private airline to operate international routes, they need the government’s support, because you must negotiate routes and destination airports through the government.

“So that is also an option. Invite this airline, look at their books. We have sufficiently brilliant people in Ghana who can work these things out.”

Watch the full interview below:

Bad move to partner EgyptAir

Captain Foli had earlier kicked against the Government of Ghana’s decision to partner EgyptAir as a strategic partner to set up a new national airline.

He believes EgyptAir does not have enough liquidity to make the venture viable.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show with Kojo Mensah on 26 July, Captain Foli said: “What I know is that EgyptAir itself right now is in financial problems. In 2020, EgyptAir got about US$318 million from the government to run the airline and in 2021 they are asking for the same money.”

“What do they want to use the money for? To pay their wages, to pay for loans and to pay the cost of leasing aircraft. So this is a company that needs money to do these. What are they going to do to help us?

“They are talking about four Boeing 737s. You don’t start an airline with four aircraft. So they are probably going to offload their surplus aircraft on us and then they will be repatriating all the money we make to pay for those aircraft,” Foli said.

Broader consultation

For his part, the management consultant Maxwell Ocansey Arthur, who was also speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show, said there are more viable airlines that the government can partner to form a new national airline.

He wants the government to consult more.

“Why can’t they engage? … Captain Foli is there: if you want to form an airline why can’t they engage people so that we can think about it and come out with something viable?

“I think the government should get aviation experts. Let them put their heads together, give them about one month [to find] an alternative, call a national debate and let us debate,” Arthur said.


The Ministry of Aviation and EgyptAir signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2020 and subsequently reached an agreement to establish a new national carrier.

The choice of the Cairo-based EgyptAir as the preferred strategic partner followed a series of engagements with the airline’s senior management team and a committee of aviation experts constituted by the Aviation Ministry.

Fred Dzakpata 

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
99.5 in Accra, 90.7 in Ho, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 89.5 in Tarkwa and 106.9 in Walewale
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995



Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected