Starbow Airlines has halted operations, following the Saturday crash involving one of its aircrafts at the Kotoka International Airport. The crash, which resulted in five minor injuries, occurred after the aircraft skidded off the runway during its take-off run.
A statement from Starbow said it had “suspended its operations with immediate effect.”
It added that “guests with future reservations are invited to contact the airline at 024 500 0000 to make alternative travel arrangements.”
The statement also quoted the Chief Executive Officer of Starbow, Eric Antwi, as saying “All of us at Starbow at this time remain dedicated to our guests, our crew and their families. Their safety and wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do, and we will cooperate fully with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, and other agencies, to determine the cause of this incident. We hope to be able to provide further information in due course.”
This incident adds to previous mishaps involving Starbow flights in 2014 and 2015.
A statement from the Emergency Operations Centre of the Kotoka International Airport said an investigation is being carried out into the incident. There has been a suggestion of negligence on the part of the aircraft’s pilot by William Owuraku Aidoo, a Deputy Minister of Energy who was on board the Starbow plane when it crashed.
He narrated that, the pilot tried to brave a storm that was obviously going to overwhelm the plane. “As we were boarding the bus to the aircraft, I got a little concerned. I noticed the rains had started from afar approaching where we were parked” Mr. Owuraku Aidoo told Ghana Web.
“I am speculating that probably, the pilot tried to beat the oncoming clouds that were rolling in, and we taxied to the runway and the rain really caught up with us. So he stopped, prior to taking off proper, and I got more concerned because I could see that the rain was running down the windows very very fast when the plane was stationary, which signified to me that the wind was on the high side,” the Minister said.
Find below the full statement from Starbow.
Starbow S9 104 Incident at Accra, Kotoka International Airport
Everyone at Starbow wishes to express their sincere regret for the distress experienced by our guests on Flight S9 104 on 25 November 2017 at 12:45, local time.
The service, operated by ATR72-500 (registration 9G-SBF), was a scheduled flight from Accra to Kumasi.
All 65 guests and five crew disembarked, as normal, though five guests were treated for minor injuries at the Airport Clinic. The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority has begun an investigation into the incident.
Eric Antwi, Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘All of us at Starbow at this time remain dedicated to our guests, our crew and their families. Their safety and wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do, and we will cooperate fully with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, and other agencies, to determine the cause of this incident. We hope to be able to provide further information in due course’.
Starbow has suspended its operations with immediate effect and guests with future reservations are invited to contact the airline at 024 500 0000 to make alternative travel arrangements.