Barely a few months after Gambia Bird's first flight made a maiden landing at the Banjul International Airport, the airlines' second flight on Friday evening also arrived in the country, set on fulfilling the company'sbid to make Banjul a hub for air transport in the sub-region.
The pristine 138-passenger airbus that has 90 per cent of its shares owned by the Germania Express of Germany, arrived in the country with some key delegation onboard including members of the shareholders of Germania Group. At the airport to receive the new airbus and delegation from Germany was the minister of Tourism and Culture, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, among other high-profile dignitaries.
Speaking to reporters upon their arrival in the country, the chief executive officer of the Gambia Bird Airlines, Thomas Wazinski, explained that the new airbus is ready for service, while thanking the authorities and Gambian people for the warm welcome accorded."We are warmly welcomed and the impression we got here is very good. When we brought in the first plane, we announced that we will bring the second plane by mid of December.
But as you know is the end of November, so we are almost two weeks ahead of that schedule and this means that we are really keeping to what we are promising. This is to show our competitors and The Gambia that we are willing to fulfill our promises, as well as to boost the business," he remarked.
Wanzinki described this development as another step in the operation of Gambia Bird, stressing that the capacity of this new plane and the first one are the same. He maintained that their partnership with the government is very special, saying the minister of Tourism and Culture has been supporting them right from the beginning, when the idea was born. The Gambia Bird CEO then described the Tourism minister as one of their biggest allies, noting that he will always knock at her doors when the need arises as she is part of the Airline.
In the midst of tough competition, he called on customers to patronise the new airline, taking into account that it is a national carrier. "So we want to have more passengers and I guess we have success during the first four weeks of operations as we are operating and delivering on time. We are reliable as our services and fares are good, and so I don't see any need to fly with our competitors out of Banjul, " he stated.
Also speaking to reporters, the Tourism and Culture minister, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, described this new development as positive and important. "The coming in of this second flight will help to further enhance the connectivity within Europe and Africa. As you know we trying to sell Gambia Bird as the gateway to Africa and we also want it to be in place where Air Afrique used to be. This is because Air Afrique was like connecting both Anglophone and Francophone countries. So we are glad that the flight is here and we still need to fill it," she remarked.
The Tourism and Culture minister further opined that if the business is good and profitable, the owner will be encouraged to do more. She underscored that with the support received from the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh and the entire government, she is optimistic that everyone will come on board and support the new airline. "For us the Gambia Bird is ours as it carries the national flag of ours. The president of the Republic made a declaration that the new airline is personate to him because it is a Gambian airline," she stated.
She then called on all to support the new airline so that it can achieve the set goals.