(JollofNews) – The government of Sierra Leone is holding discussions with a local airline, Fly Salone, and the Gambian government to reconnect direct flights from Freetown and Banjul.
Direct flights between the two countries were cancelled last year following the outbreak of Ebola, which claimed the lives of many people in the region.
But with Sierra Leone now declared ‘Ebola free’ by the World Health Organisation, the Sierra Leonean government is eager to reconnect flights to Banjul, a home to thousands of Sierra Leoneans.
“As you know it involves a lot to get all the necessary clearance but as I said we have gone far in the negotiations,” said Balogun Koroma, Sierra Leone’s minister of Transport and Aviation.
In an interview with Sierra Leone’s Awoko newspaper, the minister said President Koroma is in talks with his colleague President Yahya Jammeh to give the clearanc. He said with the Ebola far behind Sierra Leone and the bilateral relationship between the two countries, they are hoping that Mr Jammeh will soon give the clearance.
“I am optimistic that by February Fly Salone will start the shuttle through the Gambia, which will be very good and easy for our travellers,” he said.
“You know that our people do business in the Gambia as well as there are many Sierra Leoneans residing in Banjul. Travelling to and from Freetown and the Gambia now is hectic because the only flight is Air Maroc and passengers must first fly from Sierra Leon to Rabat where they will wait in transit for hours before flying down again to Banjul.
“Ebola is over now and we must increase the number of flights coming into the country because the more flights we have the better it is for our travellers who will have the options of flying with whatever airline they want.”