Source:Daily GraphicWork is progressing fast on the conversion of the grounded Ghana Airways Boeing aircraft to a themed restaurant.
When The Mirror visited the project site at the Marina Mall end of the Kotoka International Airport, workers were seen putting finishing touches to the 276-seater aircraft restaurant.
However, nobody at the site would give out any information on the ownership and/or the proposed name of the restaurant.
An official at the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) told The Mirror that the authority is aware of the restaurant project “But the owners have not yet approached us for registration”.
When contacted on phone, the Minister of Transport, Ms Dzifa Ativor also directed The Mirror to the Ghana Airports Company for information on the sale of the unserviceable aircraft and its conversion to a restaurant.
Efforts to get the Airports Company to comment on the project was not successful but earlier media reports had indicated that the plane had been sold to the wife of a Togolese Minister.
However, sources at the Kotoka International Airport told The Mirror that it had been sold to La Tante Restaurant of London. This information could however not be verified.
In June 2002, the DC-10 was seized at Heathrow Airport, after a British creditor of the airline got a legal judgment to recoup some £4million in unpaid debts.
After that seizure, the chairman of the airline, Mr. Sam Jonah, stated that Ghana Airways owed some US$160million and the airline would require a foreign partner if it was to survive. He also noted that the British creditor released the aircraft after the airline paid US$1million.
The Ghana Government announced in September 2002 that it had signed a deal with Nationwide Airlines which would see the South African airline taking over the management of the airline, which would have been renamed Ghana Nationwide International Airlines.
In February 2003, Mr. Richard Anane, then Minister of Roads and Transport, announced that the government had withdrawn from the deal with Nationwide Airlines. The aircraft was to be revived in 2010 as a partnership between the government of Ghana and Arik Air of Nigeria, but that plan did not see the light of day.
By William A. Asiedu/The Mirror/Ghana