Starbow launches flight to Cotonou, Benin, five times weekly
Posted on: 09-Sep-2012
Starbow Airlines on Friday officially launched its regional flights to Cotonou, Benin at a ceremony at the Cotonou Airport.
Starbow’s flights to Cotonou mark the beginning of what the airline’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, Dr Brock Friesen, calls "it’s real mission" to serve all major cities in West Africa.
Dr Friesen, speaking at the launch, said he was struck by how difficult it was to travel around west Africa when he moved to Ghana from Canada, a problem that Starbow intended to solve.
He noted that the need for the Cotonou service was obvious and was chosen first because the Accra- Cotonou route had no direct air service whatsoever, compelling travellers to travel by road.
“Travellers deserve better,” he said, adding that Starbow’s Cotonou flight from Accra took only 45 minutes and cost less.
Dr Friesen said the airline had started with five flights weekly to Cotonou on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays but would increase it to daily flights and ultimately twice-daily flights-morning and evening.
Dr Friesen commended the Civil Aviation and Airport Authorities of Ghana and Benin as well as other travel agencies for their roles in making the Cotonou flights possible.
He revealed in an interview with the GNA that the airline would commence its Accra- Abidjan flights in about four weeks.
On how Starbow’s services would be affected by competition in the industry, especially with new airlines set to provide services on West African routes, Dr Friesen said the market on Accra- Abidjan route was a big one and was enough for other airlines too.
“we are not worried about other carriers, we know we have a superior product; better aircrafts, high safety standards and on-time reliability, we have built trust in our customers that we will fly when we say we will,” he said.
Mr Cyriaque Atti-Mama, Director of Cabinet, Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Benin, who launched the service on behalf of the minister, said transport and especially air transport was a means of development and that the ministry was focusing on developing the industry and improve on infrastructure.
He described the launch of Starbow flight to Cotonou as an opportunity and pledged the ministry’s support to enhance the activities of the airline.
“We will do everything needed to assist Starbow because it is important for the economic development of both our countries,” he said.
Mr Daniel Acquah, Director of safety Regulation, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), who represented the director general of GCAA, said the event was a result of Starbow’s hard work as they had gone through strict safety procedures before commencing the flights.
He said the flights would help to improve inter connectivity between Accra and Cotonou and also help to connect travellers from Cotonou to Accra and other international destinations.
“This is a great venture and each one of us would benefit from it, directly or indirectly,” he said.