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3 Reasons Why Ghana Airways Failed

18 February 2012

Ghana Airspace misses you!

Hi Mom,

I miss you!.. but last Tuesday I missed Ghana Airways more. Tears filled my eyes. But for the disruption of a late-comer I would have shed a few drops. It was in a Business Strategy class at 07h30 when Dr. Ofori begun the day’s lecture on companies’ vision and mission statements. During the discussion, we got to a segment where we discussed blending mission and customer orientation. A company successful at doing this would anticipate customer needs, and provide product/service to satisfy those needs.

“So you ask yourself, what was Ghana Airways’ mission?”, Dr. Ofori asked. He continued, “Agents receive 9% as commission for Ghana Airways tickets sold. The company had two main offices in Accra; one at the Airport, and the other at Adabraka (CBD). You walk into the office to (buy a ticket), and the staff give either of two excuses.. the system is down or tickets have been sold out. After a few minutes, they give you a lead to a private agent where you could purchase the same ticket; apparently, they are stakeholders of that travel and tour agency. So if you are working for Ghana Airways (GA), why don’t you strive to sell the ticket from your end, so that GA does not have to pay out 9% to any third-party? This is one way the company lost big revenue”, he said rather sadly. “I know much about these things because I did some studies there during my undergrad years”, he assured.

“It didn’t end there”, he continued.  “(Obviously), there is baggage allowance for every airline. If GA’s was 40kg/passenger, it wasn’t adhered to. Customers turn up at the airport for check-in. When they are required to pay extra luggage fees, they begin to complain. ‘You know, I don’t have enough money…. the charge is too much, I can’t pay.. please reduce for me…Then whether  it’s a result of negligence or malice or greed, the GA Scale staff says.. give me so and so amount so I let you pass. He receives the money which selfishly ends up in his pocket (unaccounted for). Luggage gets on board. Meanwhile the plane has a limit. So the pilot gets on board ready to fire up after the literature is read to the passengers. S/he realises that the luggage is way off limit and some has to be shed. Take-off is delayed, land slots at destination airports could be lost, and penalties may have to be paid, people get frustrated and would not patronise GA in future. All of these are costs that could reduce revenue big time!”  “What’s worse, the scale is adjusted by staff who further take bribes from the passengers for understating their weights. By now some familiarity breeds between frequent fliers (violators) and their insiders, so even when  the scale is fixed, passengers send their luggage to staff homes for forwarding to the tarmac (unweighed/unpaid for). Here we go!

“Everywhere, employees have a specified number of free tickets period. At GA, there was no limit. Can you imagine? So staff take their free tickets and sell them to other people. Other times, they or their (extended) family would travel indiscriminately. So at some point, a flight could have about 80 – 90% of free travelers. How can an airline survive? Is GA’s mission to offer free transportation to staff only, or it is a commercial entity”, he asked. Further reasons where about to flow when the door creaked open, distracting him in the process.

This is the moral I got; that we as citizens should do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solution (not deteriorate it) in whichever occupation we find ourselves. It would help for a moment stop the blame-game on politicians… so that we would prove Kwame Nkrumah’s claim that “the Black (wo)man is capable of managing his own affairs”.  Mom, I’m out.. catch you at Church…

Your son, Kweku

One Comment
  1. Angela permalink


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