The government of Ghana has signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with Rwanda to enable designated airlines of the two contracting states to operate international commercial passenger and cargo flights between both states.
The agreement which is in line with the provisions of the Yamoussoukro Decision and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) on air transport liberalisation will also ensure that eligible airlines of both states enjoy full traffic rights including fifth Freedom traffic rights within Africa.
Under the liberalised regime, there are no restrictions on aircraft capacity and the frequency of flights.
The agreement was signed at an event which was held in Rwanda.
The Minister for Aviation, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who signed on behalf of the Ghanaian government, said air travel was essential to Africa since it enhanced connectivity and trade, increased job creation, drove tourism and economic growth.
She said although the African air transport industry currently supported nearly seven million jobs and contributed about US$80 billion in terms of GDP; it was faced with numerous challenges that hindered the growth potential of the industry.
These challenges she said, included poor intra-African connectivity, inadequate infrastructure and weak human capacity.
She pointed out that the provision of efficient air transport services on the Accra–Kigali route would be mutually beneficial to both states and pledged that Ghana would ensure the continuous provision of safety and security oversight of air operations.
For his part, the Minister of State in charge of Transport, Mr Jean De Dieu Uwihanganye, who signed the agreement for the Republic of Rwanda, said it marked the first and very important step towards the fulfillment of constitutional formalities to give full legal effect to the BASA.
He said the move would not only boost ties between the two countries but also provide more reliable and predictable air services, between and beyond the territories of both States.
The Accra –Rwanda route is currently served by RwandAir which operates four weekly frequencies through Abuja.
Ghana is steadily becoming an aviation hub within West Africa and a destination of choice for many air travellers.