The maiden flight of Binter Canarias Airlines Monday landed at the Banjul International Airport.
Binter Canarias Airlines is a Spanish airline that connects Banjul with the Canary Islands in a significant move towards consolidating its internationalisation and opening up new markets in the Spanish archipelago.
The airline's Bombardier CRJ - 200 Plane flight from the Canary Islands to Banjul takes approximately two hours and thirty-five minutes. The plane carries up to 50 people, and will fly to The Gambia twice a week (Mondays and Fridays).
Welcoming the new airline to destination Gambia, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, the minister of Tourism and Culture on behalf of the government expressed gratitude to Binter Canarias for taking the bold decision to fly to the Smiling Coast of Africa. She explained that the airline's negotiation journey to the destination started two years ago, thanks to the support of Kebba Touray, the minister of Trade, Industry and Employment who was the then Gambia's ambassador to Spain.
Minister Jobe-Njie also stated that the coming of the airline to The Gambia was not only due to the efforts of her ministry, but also as a result of teamwork. She added that tourism is about everybody as it is cross-cutting -from civil aviation, travel agency to international airlines among others. She challenged everyone especially travel agencies in the sector to be responsible as they have a lot to do. She assured the airline of government's support, saying her ministry is not going to sit down and allow them to come in and out just like that. "But to make it our business and know what is happening on every flight, the type of passengers you have and the challenges you encounter," she further remarked.
The Tourism minister described Binter Canarias' maiden flight to Banjul as a great step to start the New Year. She also declared that destination Gambia will soon become a hub.
On his part, Abdoullahi Jammeh, the director general of GCAA, applauded and welcomed Binter Canarias Airlines to the Smiling Coast of Africa. He informed the gathering that the arrival of the airline in destination Gambia is inline with the BIA's plans to become a hub.
He thanked the partners of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Gambia Tourism Board, GIA and the airline's local representative together with everyone that took part, to make it a successful project.
Juan Ramsden, the general coordinator of Binter Canarias, thanked the Tourism Ministry, GCAA and GTBoard among others for the warm welcome accorded them.
He said they are quite impressed with the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in the realisation of this dream. He also said that with the support of everyone in the industry, they will succeed in this route because they want to ensure that not only people from the Canary Islands come to The Gambia, but also people from The Gambia to go to the Canary Islands.