Starbow has launched as Ghana’s newest domestic airline, using two BAE 146 passenger jets.
Starbow said it commenced scheduled commercial flights on September 26. Flights were originally intended to commence at the end of August, according to Flight International.
Starbow received its first BAe 146 on July 6. They are being leased from Riva Investments, which bought them from Falko Regional Aircraft, according to ATW. They are configured to carry 94 passengers, including eight in business class. According to data from Ascend, both aircraft were built in 1989 and most recently leased to Eurowings.
“Domestic services envisaged for Starbow include routes centered on Accra and the important regional city of Kumasi and linking them to other destinations such as Tamale and Takoradi,” CEO Simon Saoud said in a statement. “The company believes in the considerable potential for airline business in West Africa.”
At the moment Starbow offers flights from Kumasi and Accra, but in the future plans to offer direct services to the capitals of neighbouring countries, including Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to Saoud.
Starbow said that in order to achieve world class levels of safety and reliability, it had partnered with European maintenance providers Inflite and hired pilots trained to European Aviation Safety Agency standards.
Starbow is the operating name of Aero Surveys Limited, which in March last year began regular commercial flights with its Air Shuttle arm, flying two Embraer EMB 110 Banderiante aircraft on domestic routes.
According to Airline Business magazine, 74% of intra-African routes have no more than one daily flight while around half of African city pairs are underserved.
At the end of the year another airline plans to launch in Ghana, with the help of Chinese funding. Africa World Airlines acquired its operator license from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority earlier this year and plans to begin flying with brand new Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the European Union has added two carrier from Ghana to its airline blacklist. Under the EU regulations, Meridian Airways and Airlift International Society are prohibited from landing in Europe due to safety concerns.