Accra, Jan. 11, GNA - Africa World Airlines (AWA) says it is not afraid of competition, contrary to some public opinion, as new entrants start operations in the domestic air travel market, because it rather sees them as partners.
The reaction follows the entrants of operators such as Passion Air and Unity Air, which began operations in the latter part of 2018.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Mr. Richard Kyereh, Head of Commercial of AWA, said competition was good as it had helped to stimulate the market.
“For us as Africa World Airlines, we do not fear competition and we embrace competition because we know that it helps strengthen the market and improves service quality. Once you get more carriers in, it stimulates the market and causes fares to be reduced,” he stated.
He said the main competitor for domestic airlines was rather the road transport operators as most Ghanaians rather travelled by air.
“With a population of over 28 million, less than two per cent travel by air. Passengers travel to other parts of the country but do not go by air so our main competitors are the road transport operators, which is why every action of ours is geared towards getting more people to fly,” he said.
He discounted the notion that its recent promotion: WOW Wednesday, under which customers could purchase tickets at rates of GHȼ49.00 Accra- Kumasi; GHȼ79.00 Accra- Takoradi; and GHȼ99.00 for Accra - Tamale, was a ploy to beat the competition.
“We've had some comments insinuating that it's because of competition that we're reducing fares. WOW is something we thought of because we wanted to stimulate the market so more people would fly and also to give back to our flying customers,” he said.
He added that the second edition of the promotion, which took place this Wednesday had received great response, with about 1, 326 tickets sold on the day.
He said the airline had, however, put in place several value-added products to ensure that it remained the airline of preference for its customers.
This included increasing its attention on safety and security, with AWA being the only IATA Operational Safety Audit programme (IOSA)-certified domestic airline in Ghana and member of the International Air Transport Association IATA.
It had also established some cooperation with some international airlines that would give passengers more flexibility and connectivity, with single tickets on its routes and those of its partners.
Passengers can thus fly from Kumasi via Accra directly to Takoradi or from Kumasi via Accra to Lagos or Monrovia, where they would not have to retrieve their luggage before transiting to their final destinations.
“You can purchase a single ticket on South African Airways from say Kumasi directly to Washington or anywhere of their network. With a single ticket, you check in your bags in Kumasi and pick them up in Washington or check in at Tamale and pick it in Johannesburg,” he explained, due to its cooperation with the airline.
“AWA is positioning itself to give customers the best and when you get used to the best, you accept nothing less,” he stated.