By Dauda Dauda
Air Senegal which started operation on the 2nd August, 2021 in its bid to promote regional connectivity and to make air transport accessible to Sierra Leoneans has been commended for its intervention and the management of the flight praised. The airline now has a flight operatingfrom Senegal to the Freetown International Airport (FNA), Lungi.
Before now, Sierra Leoneans wishing to travel to Senegal and Senegalese travelers to Sierra Leone were seriously constrained as there was no flight between the two countries.
Senegalese and Sierra Leoneans in Senegal wishing to travel to Freetown had to travel very early in the morning to The Gambia before they could catch a flight to Freetown.
before the second when this flight was inaugurated the other people travelling from Gambia to sierra Leone have to leave their houses at 2am or 3 am to rush to the Banjul International airport in order to reach in Freetown lungi airport at 7:15am.
but with this new flight someone from general need not to go their Banjul airport at odd hours because that flying hours of Air Senegal is well appreciated.
On the other hand, travelers in Sierra Leone wishing to travel to Senegal were faced with the constraint of traveling all the way to Conakry, Guinea where they were able to catch a flight to Senegal.
One of the first passengers, Ahaji Dauda Musa Bangura (CEO and Managing Editor of the Owl) who witnessed the inaugural programme stated that there was a conducted tour of the flight led by the Minister of Transport and Aviation, KabinehKallon, followed by the conduction of the Foreign Aircraft Safety Assessment Program (FASAP), which is the normal routine inspection conducted by the SLCAA’s flight operations team in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 6 of the Chicago Convention.
What moved the first passenger to fall in love with the airline was when CEO of Air Senegal Ibrahima Kane stated while presenting the flight, Air Senegal, that the opening of the route hinged on a common will of the two states, which shared the need to connect the two countries during a state meeting. CEO of Air Senegal also stated that: “The introduction of Air Senegal into the Freetown International Airport (FNA) route will facilitate air travel and increase connectivity options to other parts of the world with affordable fares to stimulate growth in traffic and revenues to the potential benefits of the two countries.” He urged citizens of both countries to always access the flight as it has brought about great relief to both countries.
“The Dakar-Freetown service will offer connections via Dakar, to all the destinations already serviced by Air Senegal which are Paris, Marselle, Lyon, Barcelona, Milan, Casablanca, Douala, Libreville, Cotonou, Abidjan, Nouakchott, Banjul, Bissau, Conakry, Praia and Bamako. The CEO added that New York and Washington will join Air Senegal’s destinations in September 2021.”
Indeed, the work of the Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Senegal, His Excellency Alhaji Braima Elvis Koroma, will always be remembered for his role in supporting such a good initiative that will help boosts trade, investment and tourism prospects between Sierra Leone and Senegal.
According to tone of the first passengers, Alhaji Bangura, he really enjoyed the friendly disposition of the air hostesses as they served delicious Africa-blend of dishes and drinks that can only be found on board Air Senegal. The flight itself, according to this passenger was smooth and without incidence while the crew along with the air hostesses can only be described as professional, caring, hospitable and dedicated to serving passengers with the best of their ability. See next edition for full text of interview with CEO Ibrahima Kane.