1,089 Ghanaians Use Ghana Card At KIA
It has emerged that 1,089 Ghanaians boarded flights from various countries around the world to Ghana using Ghana Card to the Kotoka International Airport, Accra.
This was contained in Data compiled by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) showing they boarded flights from 19 different countries around the world to Ghana in 2022.
The GIS has a booth at KIA, which processes Ghanaian holders of the Ghana Card returning home.
The data was taken between January 3 and November 2022 while no one arrived at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in December 2022 using the card.
The records available indicated that 21 different airlines brought in the 1,089 Ghanaians from various destinations around the world
The monthly arrivals are January – 125, February – 330, March – 521, April – 36, May – 32, June – 4, July – 4, August-15, September-16, October- 3, and November 3.
Some 426 Ghanaians also flew on Emirates Airlines from United Arab Emirates (UAE) to KIA in 2022, whereas from the Netherlands, KLM carried 143 Ghanaians who boarded with Ghana Card last year
The data further indicated that three airlines brought in some 134 Ghana Card users from Cote d’Ivoire comprising Emirates- 129, Air Cote d’Ivoire-4, and Middle East Airlines-1.
In the United States of America, 78 Ghanaians made up 35 on Delta Airlines and 43 on United Airlines arrived in Ghana with Ghana Cards as their travel document.
While British Airways also carried 77 Ghanaians who boarded with Ghana cards from the United Kingdom to Ghana.
Ethiopia Airlines also flew 67 Ghanaian travelers who used Ghana cards to board from Ethiopia to Ghana in 2022 and Air France also carried 66 Ghanaians from France to Ghana who used Ghana cards as their traveling documents.
Other countries where Ghanaians used Ghana Card to board flights to Ghana include – Burkina Faso-17 (comprising Air Burkina-1, Air France-16), Belgium-13, (Brussels Airlines), Togo -13, (made up of 11 by ASKY, Brussels Airlines-2), Sierra Leone- 9 (ASKY Airlines-1, Kenya Airlines-8) and Nigeria-9 (Africa World Airlines-8, Rwanda Air-1).
Others are Qatar -8 (Qatar Airways), Liberia-7 (Africa World Airlines-2, ASKY Airlines-2, and Kenya Airways-3), Turkey-6 (Turkish Airlines), South Africa-6 (South Africa Airlines), Egypt-6 (Egypt Air), Sao Tome and Principe-3 (Tap Air Portugal) and Morocco-1 (Royal Air Maroc).
Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in November 2021 said during a lecture at Ashesi University that processes had been completed for the Ghana Card to be recognized as an international travel document by the ICAO the global body that certifies means of international travel identification.
Already, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), in February 2022, officially announced that the Ghana Card as meeting the requirements for an international travel document, which means holders of the card, once Ghana enters into bilateral agreements with individual nations, will be able to use the Ghana Card as a travel document to those countries with electronic visas.
Until that, the Ghana Card can now be used as a travel document by all holders returning to Ghana from airports around the world.
Following this, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) sent an announcement to all airports and airlines on the use of the Ghana Card as an acceptable International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD) for Ghanaians for international travel to all Ghanaian airports.
Travelers can verify the cards at airports and with airlines to travel directly to Ghana from anywhere in the world.
Also, Ghanaians can travel to countries that enter into agreements with Ghana to permit the use of the Ghana Card to travel to their countries as has been agreed amongst Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries whose cards meet the ECOWAS Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD) e-passport ICAO compliant specifications and put in the right legal regime.
BY Daniel Bampoe