Capt. Solomon Quainoo, of Ghana, has won the prestigious BALAFON award as the Aviation Man of the Year in West Africa.
This award is in recognition of his outstanding achievement for being the first West African and Ghanaian to fly A380 aircraft into the newly constructed Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3, in Accra, Ghana.
Capt. Solomon Quainoo, made the historic feat by flying the Emirates’ flagship double-decker aircraft becoming the first-ever scheduled A380 service to Ghana, demonstrating the airport’s readiness to accommodate the A380, the world’s largest commercial passenger jet.
The Balafon Awards was instituted 2009 by the publishers of ATQ News. The award was set up to recognize individuals who have excelled in Aviation, Travel and Tourism; and who also have contributed immensely to the growth of Aviation, Hotels Business, Tourism and Travels in West Africa.
Past winners of Balafon award of excellence include: the former Managing Director of Asky Airlines, Henok Teferra, Ghana’s former Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Mr. Bankole Muneer, the Managing Director of Medview airlines, Captain Ado Sanusi, the Managing Director of Aero Contractors.
Other winners of the Balafon award include former Ghanaian ministers, Catherine Afeku and Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare.
This comes as Kotoka International Airport, Ghana was awarded the Best Airport in West Africa and African World Airline (AWA) clinching the Best Airline in West Africa for the first time.
Last year, West Africa’s largest carrier, Air Peace won the award for the best airline, while Asky and Arik Air won the award in previous years.
The awards will hold at the 5th Accra Weizo, the West African region fair, 2019 edition at the La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Accra-Ghana on the 28th of June and is expected to draw travel professionals from the West African sub region and Africa.
2019 BALAFON West African Travel and Tourism AWARDS include:
1. Travel Personality of the Year in West Africa – Chief Allen Onyeama (
2. Tourism Man of the Year in West Africa – Otunba Segun Runsewe- DG, Nigeria Council
For Art and Culture
3. Aviation Man of the Year in West Africa – Captain Solomon Quianoo (Ghana)
4. Hotel Personality of the Year in West Africa – Amaechi Ndili – Golden Tulip West Africa
5. Best Airline in West Africa – African World Airline (AWA)
6. Best Hotel in West Africa – Kempinski Goldcity Hotel.
7. Best Airport in West Africa (for government agencies) – Kotoka International Airport, Ghana.
8. Best Ground Handling Company in West Africa – Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL)
9. Best Tourism Marketing Agency in West Africa – Ghana Tourism Authority
10. Best Tourism
11. Top twenty (20) Conference centers in West Africa
• Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana
• Kempinski Goldcoast city Hotel, Ghana
• La Palm Royal Beach, Accra, Ghana.
• Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra, Ghana
• Labadi Hotel, Accra, Ghana
• Alisa Hotel North
• Abuja International Conference
• Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria
• Abuja Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria
• Eko Hotel and Suites Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
• The Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.
• Muson Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
• King Fahd Palace Hotel, Dakar, Senegal.
• Salle de conference, Dakar, Senegal.
• Kairaba Beach Hotel, Gambia
• Coral Beach, Brufut, Gambia.
• Palais des congress, Cotonou, Benin.
• Hotel du 2 Fevrier, Lome Togo.
• Sofitel Abidjan Hotel
• Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.