goldstarNew Ghanaian carrier Goldstar Air plans to start services to Baltimore Washington International (BWI) in 1Q 2017, according to CEO Eric Bannerman.

The small West African nation has lacked a national long-haul carrier since Ghana Airways, one of Africa’s oldest airlines, ceased flying in December 2005.

The new carrier, which anticipates an air operator’s certificate in December, plans to start services in February or March 2017, Bannerman said. Goldstar Air is considering London Gatwick, Guangzhou and Dubai as its next long-haul destinations, he added.

The airline also plans a network of regional flights serving West African capitals including Dakar, Abidjan and Monrovia from the Ghanaian capital Accra, Bannerman told ATW at the World Travel Market exhibition in London.

He declined to name the new carrier’s backers, but said it would operate two Boeing 737-300s and three 767-300s. The aircraft would be financed, not leased, he said.

The carrier’s website states that flight deck personnel will initially be expatriates, with Ghanaians undergoing training overseas to enable them to step up to flight crew positions in the coming years. Cabin crew will be Ghanaian nationals.

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