Emirates Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations for Africa, Orhan Abbas, has expressed shock at the beauty of Kotoka International Airport (KIA) recently opened Terminal 3.
In his excitement, the Emirates chief, described T3 as it is affectionately as “impressive and fantastic”.
Mr Abbas led the Emirates team to make a historic touch down at Terminal 3 as a one-off service to Ghana,with the world’s largest commercial passenger jet on Tuesday October 2, 2018.
The US$250 million facilityis one of former President Mahama’s outstanding legacies.
He heaped praises on the administration of President Mahama for the “vision and foresight” to change the face of Ghana’s only international airport which has become an instant tourist site
“On behalf of Emirates, we commend the vision, the foresight of the Government for investing in a world-class airport facility, which will further open up Ghana to grater trade and tourism” he said.
Earlier plan was for President Akufo-Addo to commission the edifice,after a proud Ghanaian pilot, Solomon Quainoo, flew the airbus and historically landed at the Terminal 3, but a day to the anticipated event, government canceled it without citing any reason.
Having made plans for the event already, Emirates went ahead with it programme and on the day, a government delegation led by the Minister of Aviation, Kofi Adda, joined the local Emirates group and that of the Ghana Airport Company, to receive the team from Dubai.
Other ministers present were the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and deputy Minister of Aviation.
Mr Abbas, said his team, including VIPs (one being Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Almed Ramadan), was stunned to see the “impressive”edifice popularly known as T3.
“I have to commend the government of Ghana for this fantastic airport, fantastic terminal.Really before coming here, I did not expect this, even with my VIP delegation, people are shocked having this in West Africa,nothing can beat it. The way it is made, I have seen other terminals, but I must commend them this is something good.
So this itself, will help promote traffic into Ghana and out of Ghana. I mean I have been hearing a lot of comments that Ghana wants to be a regional hub and I am sure that, if you have invested in an airport like this, you can do it, I have no doubt about that.
If you have this mindset of this airport, and the way you built it and the way you are investing in this kind of infrastructure, which is where you want to take Ghana. Once upon in time, Dubai started from a step today, Dubai is flying not running, flying so anyone that is following that footsteps by doing things like they have done today, I must say the sky is the limit”he told Joy News on the sidelines of the ceremony.
Earlier in a statement, the Emirates chief, said the successful completion of the “World class” T3, would help open and grow the aviation market. “Now that you have this world class facility, you are helping your own market to grow”.
According to him, the Dubai based national carrier, was honoured to have been the first A380 operator, use the T3 showing it capacities.
He said, “It is a testament to the solid operations and infrastructure of Terminal 3, which enabled us to be the A380 operator to bring our flagship aircraft to Ghana and showcase the airport’s full capacity.
Very soon, you will see our Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft, and experience firsthand the product and services we are so proud of. The Emirates A380 makes its debut in West Africa, and we could not be more proud to bring it to Ghana
We are honoured to bring our flagship A380 to the impressive new terminal at Kotoka International Airport, as it demonstrates its full capacities with the handling of the first A380 aircraft”.
Emirates commenced operation to Ghana in January 2004 and flies to Accra daily from Dubai.Close to 1.6 million passengers, have flown the Dubai-Accra route, since it started with popular destination being China, India and the United Kingdom via its Dubai hub.
Mr Abbas said “Accra is an important destination in Africa and we remain committees to providing our customers in Ghana with the world class services we are known for.
The Emirates A380, has been at the centre of innovation, and bringing this popular aircraft to Accra, is a significant milestone in our operations to Ghana, where we will soon celebrate 15 successful years”.
This year marks the Emirates A380’s 10th anniversary, and the iconic aircraft, has transformed, flying over 96 million passengers on over 106, 000 flights.
The Emirates A380 to Accra operated in a three-class configuration, with 426 seats in Economy Class on the main deck, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck.
In addition to the spacious seats, free onboard Wifi and award-winning in-flight entertainment in all cabins, the Emirates’ A380 , is removed for its First Class Private Suites, Shower Spas and Onboard Lounge for First Class and Business Class passengers, as well as space to socialize or simply relax on the upper deck.
According to the Emirates Vice President, the historic event showed “The importance of Ghana to Emirates; for us to bring the A380 to West Africa and to Ghana is milestone by itself.
It should show you the commitment we have to Ghana, its aviation sector and the market. The Accra route is doing very well for us and I think looking at Ghana, it will expand further”, he said.
The Minister of Aviation, said there was a growing confidence in Ghana’s aviation industry, because of government’s commitment to develop the sector to make Ghana the aviation hub.
He said, the event feeds into government agenda and would also further strengthen the bilateral relations between Ghana and the UAE.
According to Mr Kofi Adda “This landmark achievement, will no doubt furtherimprove our two countries bilateral reciprocal economic activities and create job opportunities for the benefit of our youth, which is major goal of Government”.
With the arrival of the world’s biggest airline at the Terminal 3, the minister said, Ghana’s airport has demonstrated it capacity “Receive a kind of aircraft”. He assured Emirates government commitment to support it operation.
Madam Cecilia Dapaah, who described Emirates as a friend of Ghana, said Emirates decided to honour Ghana by flying it A380 airbus because, “They believe in Ghana”. Later, government officials VIPs, media, and others who had the rare opportunity to be at the Terminal 3 VIP section were given a guided tour of the a380 by the emirates cabin crew.
The aircraft was met at the airport with a ceremonial water cannon sauté amidst cheers and applauds from all present.
Since its opening last month, the $250 million facility, continues to dominate the headlines with many, including other nationals commending the government of Ghana.
Emirates Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations for Africa, Orhan Abbas
Emirates Country Director, Catherine Wesley
Inside of Emirates A380 Aircraft
Cecilia Abena Dapaah receiving a mini aircraft from Emirates Vice President Orhan Abbas
Solomon Quainoo with Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Kofi Adda and a member of Girls in Aviation Ghana