Airlines operating within Ghana have begun counting their losses due to the harsh Harmattan weather that compelled them to cancel most of their flights at the close of 2016, local media reported here Tuesday.
The unfavorable weather condition that is usually characterized by foggy or hazy weather sets in during the early part of December and lasts till March or early April when the rainy season begins.
“We have had to cancel some flights and have lost money as a result. If people book to travel and we can’t take them, we lose money. The same thing happened last year although it was worse,” Chief Operating Officer of Africa World Airlines, Captain Samuel Thompson told local radio Citi Business News.
“We operate fully when the visibility is good. We have been able to operate most of our flights to Kumasi and Tamale and we have been going to Lagos regularly,” he added.
At least five to six flights were cancelled each day between December 26 and 28, 2016, with the onset of the Harmattan.
The affected areas were flights from Accra to Takoradi, Tamale and Kumasi.
“On Thursday, December 29, 2016, the visibility in Accra was below the minimum but subsequently it has been fine in Tamale and in Kumasi so that has been sorted out,” Captain Thompson further explained.
The Ghana Meteorological Authority is however yet to provide information to guide the planning by the various airline companies.
“The meteorological service has not been able to tell us when this whole weather phenomenon will stop but the Harmattan is a season so maybe it will prevail for another month or so but whenever the visibility is good enough we will fly,” the airline companies stated.