Government has released 2.25 million dollars to enable the official liquidator of Ghana Airways to pay former employees of the airline the final instalment of their severance claims. This brings total government spending to 7.8 million dollars in order for locally-based Ghanaian employees to receive their negotiated severance awards in full.
Of the total amount, about 6.5 million dollars will go to the regular staff and 1.3 million dollars to pilots and flight engineers.
Mr Felix Addo, Partner Advisory Services, PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC), facilitators of the liquidation process, told the seventh meeting of creditors that cheques for the final payment to the workers would be sent to them by Thursday.
In partial fulfilment of the severance obligations to the former workers, 4.25 million dollars had already been paid in two instalments, following the out of court settlement with the official liquidator.
The remaining arrears (2.25 million dollars) exclude severance payments due to former pilots and flight engineers amounting to about 1.3 million dollars, which was settled in December 2006.
Ghana Airways went into official liquidation in June 2005 after the company was unable to keep up its debt repayments and the government refused to provide yet more money.
One of the companyâ€™s aircraft was seized at Heathrow Airport in London by creditors who refused to wait any longer for repayment. The plane was eventually released after a payment of one million dollars.
Mr Addo said that government support to the workers and unsecured creditors stands at about 20 million dollars. He said so far, total amount realized from the sale of the companyâ€™s assets stood at about 33 million dollars.
There are currently 277 claimants who have submitted claims totalling 219 million dollars.
Explaining, Mr Addo said the secured and preferred claimants would be paid the full amount owed them by Ghana Airways while the unsecured would be paid a total of 17 per cent.
He said already 15 per cent of the claims had been paid to the unsecured creditors, leaving two per cent.
Mr Addo expressed the hope that barring the legal tussles the liquidation process would be completed in June next year.