The harmattan is not only affecting airlines, it will lead to a loss of an estimated GHC6 million per week, according to a B&FT report.
The poor visibility due to the harmattan has led to flight cancelation, suspension and delays; a development which is likely to affect domestic airlines financially.
The industry regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), says the weather may improve for flight operations after December 15, 2015.
The onset of the Harmatan — north/eastern dry winds originating from the Saharan-Arabian desert last week — has forced the two main domestic airlines in the country, Starbow and Africa World Airlines (AWA), to suspend flights to Kumasi, Tamale and Sunyani…leaving passengers stranded at the various airports.
Africa World Airlines (AWA), which operates 50-seat ERJ 145LR jets to Tamale, Kumasi and Takoradi, is estimated to lose about GH¢2.5million in gross revenue per week if visibility continues to be poor.
Starbow, which operates two 94-seat BAe 146-300 jets and a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft that can seat up to 78 passengers, is estimated to lose about GH¢4million per week if the dusty season continues.
Also Antrak Air, a wholly-owned indigenous domestic operator, suspended its operations following challenges with its wet-lease arrangement with Swift Air, a Spanish airliner, for use of the latter’s two ATR 72-500 turbo-prop aircraft.