23 January 2013

Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Grills Delta Airlines

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has met with officials of the Delta Airlines, US carrier at the GCAA Head Office in a bid to resolve complaints from passengers stemming from flight delays, cancellations and poor customer service.

The meeting, which was chaired by Air Cdre K-Mamphey (rtd), Director-General of the GCAA, was attended by senior directors of the GCAA and two (2) senior officials of the Delta Airlines Inc; Mr. Robert Bryan, Commercial Director, East and West Africa and Mr. Pak-Wo Shum, Managing Director, Delta GSA, Ghana and Liberia.

The airline has been facing passenger criticisms for flight cancellations and delays, amidst poor service on United States to Accra route.

The GCAA, which is the government's official regulator on aviation, said it was compelled to summon Delta Airlines as the airline's operations are critical to the growth of the aviation industry in Ghana as well as contributing to the economic development of the country.

After the meeting, the critical issues emanating were as follows: Delta Airlines has within the last four (4) days, stationed a Maintenance Engineer in Accra in a bid to resolve all technical hitches contributing to flight delays and cancellations;

In the United States, these issues are also receiving a high level attention with the formation of a committee which has in turn appointed a senior staff to review all processes for the US - Accra departure, taking a critical look at patterns and details;

The airline will also be sending a Senior Maintenance Engineer to re-evaluate Delta's local maintenance partners;

Delta Airline is also endeavouring to get the aircraft with the re-configured seats back on the Accra route, however, air fares have been reduced to reflect the unavailability of this particular aircraft;

Customer complaints are being tracked by flight and crew to provide a more detailed analysis for quicker resolutions; all passengers who have been affected by delays are duly compensated; and the GCAA would increase the rate at which the Safety Audit of Foreign Aircraft is conducted for the airline.

The Director General (DG) rebutted claims that the GCAA had joined forces with its Liberian counterparts to perform an audit on the airline, saying that GCAA was perfectly within its own rights to commission an audit if need be.

While the DG acknowledged that although the issues discussed did not border on safety and security of the aircraft, it was imperative that the airline assures the traveling public of its commitment to the provision of a reliable air transport service.

Officials of the airline also reiterated their commitment and support and said that the airline would endeavour to give the best service to passengers and that in no case has safety been compromised.

Air Cdre Mamphey (rtd) said passengers were becoming increasingly aware of their rights and cautioned all airlines to quickly adapt to the changing environment.

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