Aero Surveys Limited, which traded as Starbow, was a Ghanaian privately owned airline.

Starbow Airlines logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1995 (as Aero Surveys Limited)
Ceased operationsNovember 2017
Operating basesKotoka International Airport
Fleet size6(November 2017)
Destinations9(November 2017)
HeadquartersAccra, Greater Accra, Ghana
Key peopleJames Eric Antwi (CEO).

It suspended all operations following an incident involving one of its ATR 72-500s in November 2017.[1]


Origins and rebrandingEdit

[2] The company was originally incorporated in October 1997 as Aero Surveys Limited and later rebranded its activities as Air Shuttle. It operated two Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante aircraft for domestic charters and air taxi services, gaining its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), in August 2009.

In 2011, the ownership of the airline changed, which resulted in a further rebranding to a new commercial name, Starbow, with regional flights in mind. A communication and recruitment campaign was launched and two 94 seat BAe 146-300 jet aircraft were acquired for scheduled domestic passenger services.

Starbow began domestic flights out of Kotoka International Airport on 26 September 2011, serving Kumasi and Tamale. The aircraft offered both business and economy class seating. Starbow added its 3rd destination on 8 November 2011, with return flights to Takoradi from its Accra base.

Expansion plans curtailedEdit

On 3 February 2012, after just 5 months in operation, Starbow announced that they had finalised a deal to lease two additional BAe 146-300 aircraft that would double their fleet size to 4 aircraft.[3] The aircraft entered into service less than 6 months later.

Starbow's first international route was announced on 31 July 2012. The up to 5 times weekly service from Accra to Cotonou in Benin started 13 August 2012.[4] Abidjan in the Ivory Coast became the carrier's second international destination. The route launched on 8 November 2012 with flights operating up to 5 times weekly from Accra.[5] Starbow also expressed ambitions for further regional routes to be provided.[6]

Starbow announced on 16 December 2012 that they were adding a 97-seat BAe 146-200 to their fleet.[7]

However, in early 2013 all international services were suspended due to poor performance. In November 2013, press reports said that Starbow were to go ahead with fleet renewal plans following the recent appointment of an agent to dispose of the current fleet of two BAe 146-300s and one BAe 146-200, with the third BAe 146-300 being sold for parts. Collectively, the aircraft average 25 years of age. Starbow was reportedly still considering its options for potential replacement aircraft.[8][9]

Also in November 2013, Starbow's CEO James Eric Antwi said they would move their business out of Ghana if the Government does not address the concerns of domestic airlines, citing small market size and low fares as some of their concerns, and saying that Starbow could relocate their business to other countries such as the Ivory Coast.[10]

Operations suspendedEdit

As a consequence of the 25 November 2017 accident below, all of Starbow's operations have been suspended. IATA has called back the S9 Two letter code. However current government under the NPP administration are in talks with Starbow airlines for a possible comeback


Starbow linked its Accra hub to Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale as of November 2017.[11]


Current fleetEdit

Starbow operated the following aircraft as of August 2018:[12]

  • 1 ATR 72-500 (This aircraft was significantly damaged in the 25 November incident.[1] Starbow has leased another 5 ATR 72-500 that have yet to arrive.[11])

Historical fleetEdit

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 25 November 2017, a Starbow ATR 72-500 was preparing for take-off from Accra bound for Kumasi during heavy rain. While the aircraft was picking up speed down the runway, one of the turboprop engines stopped working, causing the ATR to swerve off the runway before coming to a halt. None of the occupants were injured or killed in the incident, but the aircraft incurred severe damage. Starbow has suspended all flights in response to the incident as it looks into the cause.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ghana's Starbow Airlines suspends ops after ATR72 incident". ch-aviation. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Starbow Airlines (Aero Surveys) history from Africa, Ghana". Airline History. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  3. ^ "Fly domestic with Starbow! Great Flights to and from Kumasi, Accra, Tamale, Takoradi and Sunyani | It's all about you |". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  4. ^ "Fly domestic with Starbow! Great Flights to and from Kumasi, Accra, Tamale, Takoradi and Sunyani | It's all about you |". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  5. ^ "Fly domestic with Starbow! Great Flights to and from Kumasi, Accra, Tamale, Takoradi and Sunyani | It's all about you |". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  6. ^ Air Shuttle Expands Domestic Charter Route
  7. ^ Starbow's fleet grows with the additional of its first BAe146-200
  8. ^ Cockley Brake to sell three Bae146 aircraft for Starbow Airlines
  9. ^ Ghana's Starbow to sell off its BAe146 fleet
  10. ^ Starbow threaten to move its business out of Ghana
  11. ^ a b "Ghana's Starbow Airlines adds maiden ATR72". ch-aviation. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2018 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2018): 15.

External linksEdit