Ghana has bestowed the Presidential Honour for Distinguished Service upon Emirates for its “unstinting support” to the West African country. The airline was particularly praised for its support in providing medical supplies and humanitarian aid during the pandemic.
Emirates has served Ghana for the past 19 years and currently operates a daily service between the capital Accra and its Dubai hub. During the pandemic, Emirates airlifted 62 tonnes of vaccine to Ghana and transported medical equipment to the country.
The airline also operated 12 repatriation flights to get around 3,000 stranded Ghanian citizens back home at the start of the pandemic. For these efforts, Emirates was presented the award by President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Ghana National Honours Awards 2023.
Emirates has done a lot better in winning the praise of the Ghanian government compared to some other international airlines who have, instead, felt the wrath of lawmakers over alleged shortcomings.
Last year, Delta Air Lines found itself in the firing line after an aircraft it was using on its New JFK to Accra route kept on experiencing maintenance issues. Ghana issued a rebuke against Delta and even threatened to ban the airline from operating older aircraft on its Ghana flights.
The country has previously criticised airlines that, in its eyes, were using older and less well-equipped aircraft on Accra flights, fearing that Ghanian passengers were being shortchanged.
In 2018, British Airways was condemned by Ghanaian lawmakers after a spate of bed bug infestations affected its Accra-bound flights. The airline was also criticised for trying to move its daily service to Accra from London Heathrow to Gatwick Airport.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.