Sunyani Airport operations will enhance Bono Region economy as Passion Air completes maiden flight – Bono Regional Minister
Domestic airline operator, Passion Air has commenced flight operations to the Sunyani Airport with a maiden flight on Monday, September 19, 2022 which lasted 45 minutes from the Kotoka International Airport to the Sunyani Airport
The flight signals the beginning of Passion Air’s Sunyani route which would fly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the morning as well as Sundays in the afternoon on a promotional fare of GHS600 per flight.
It was the first commercial flight to the airport since President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo inaugurated the first phase of the rehabilitation and expansion of the facility on August 3 this year.
It was a moment of joy and celebration for the chiefs and people of Sunyani, especially children when the first commercial aircraft landed at the Airport.
Tens of people jostled one another in a desperate attempt to board the flight and take memorable pictures.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, described the occasion as “momentous.”
She said the resumption of operations would promote commercial activities and tourism in the region and beyond.
“The reopening has come in at an opportune time …. I hold a strong belief that the air and road transport systems will complement each other to accelerate the economic growth of the region,” Ms Owusu-Banahene said.
“This would improve the livelihoods of the people of the region and beyond”, Mad. Owusu-Banahene added.
She said the operations of Passion Air, an indigenous airline, would open the region, and attract investors to harness its viable economic potential for development.
Madam Owusu-Banahene indicated the region’s enormous tourist attraction sites would also be tapped to boost ecotourism too.
“The inclusion of the Sunyani in the flight route of Passion Air undoubtedly added our dear region to the rapid worldwide air transportation network. This will make the Bono region essentially one stop global commerce centre in Ghana and west Africa”, Mad Owusu-Banahene said at an inaugural flight ceremony held at the Sunyani Airport.
Speaking at the event to welcome Passion Air’s maiden commercial domestic flight to the Bono regional capital, the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, disclosed that the domestic air travel market had recovered and increased by 70percent from 2020 to 2021 after a drop of 38% was experienced from 2019 to 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister also mentioned that the importance of air transport to economic growth and development could not be overemphasized, given that it was one of the fastest, most dependable, and most convenient modes of transport.
He was hopeful that the reopening of the airport would create more jobs in trade and tourism which would benefit the people of Sunyani and beyond.
Mr Asiamah said this could only be achieved if the route was viable, urging passengers to patronise the airline and airline operators to take client relations seriously.
For his part, the Managing Director (MD) of Passion Air, Samuel Ato Hagan said the airline’s Sunyani flight would reduce time spent travelling from Accra to the region to just an hour, saving valuable production hours which could be used elsewhere.
“The airline industry is an important contributor towards economic development and must be protected. It has increased the easier and faster movements of goods and passengers within the country as well as created jobs both directly and indirectly for the populace. Air transport is no longer a luxury but an important component of economic development where time is of the essence”.
“Today, we are happy to add the beautiful city of Sunyani and its surrounding areas to our network. It is our goal to connect Ghana one city at a time while providing the best quality service to bring a memorable in-air and on-ground experience, through leadership, excellence and accountability”. Mr Hagan said.
Okokyeredom Sakyi Ako II, Omanhene of the Drobo Traditional Area in an address on behalf of the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu II urged indigenes of the Bono region to ensure that the route becomes viable.
He was hopeful that the profitability of the destination would speed up the second phase of the Sunyani Airport’s construction.