Transair Commences Flight Operations in Sierra Leone on Monday 18 November, 2019.
In a bid to promote regional
connectivity and to make air transport accessible to Sierra Leoneans in line with the New Direction mandate, Transair-Senegal has
commenced its inaugural flight operation at the
Freetown International Airport (FNA), Lungi.
Transair, which launched its first operation in 2010, is a Senegalese carrier based in Yoff Aiport, Dakar. Transair will provide flight from Freetown to Senegal twice a week at a cost effective rate. The 50 seater ERJ 145 carrier operates freight and passenger chattered services from Dakar to other regional destinations in West Africa.
The inaugural operation started with the conduction of Foreign Airlines Safety Assessment Program (FASAP), which is the normal routine inspection conducted by the SLCAA’s flight operations team in accordance with ICAO Annex 9 Document. It followed by the inspection of the Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation and team.
The Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Sadiq Silla, in his keynote address commended Sierra Leone’s performance in the recent ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP), stating that the 69% in the said audit was largely due to government’s commitment to improve on the sector.
“We have made immense progress in the aviation sector: the visa on arrival policy; the SLCAA Act which was rated 100% during the ICAO Audit, the 34% reduction on aviation charges at the Airport together with the Billing and Settlement Plan are all steps taken to provide the much needed result for the industry. Transair has added more weight to the aviation industry; more so its arrival came at a time the Government of Sierra Leone has exempt GST on all aviation related charges. We assure the Transair administration of government’s commitment to strengthen the relation between Sierra Leone and Senegal,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Director General, the Acting Director General Mrs. Fatu-Maria Wurie Conteh, expressed her delight to witness and participate in the inaugural flight operation of Transair which, she said, started a year ago as bilateral discussions between His Excellency Julius Maada Bio and His Excellency Macky Sall in a bid to improve and increase connectivity in the spirit of implementing both the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
“The benefits of having a direct flight from Freetown to Dakar through Banjul will not only reduce cost significantly, but also ease the time burden on passengers. Before today, a trip to and from Freetown to Dakar would take about 10 hours, but with Transair’s direct flight, a trip from Freetown to Dakar will be one hour and half flight. The exemption of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from all aviation related charges is a testament of this government desire to improve the airport transport sector. We wish Transair all the best as we hope for a continued cooperation,” she said.
Representative of the Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA), Mr. Bobson Kargbo warmly welcomed the Transair delegation, noting that the Authority has been looking forward to receiving more for the development of the air transport sector in Sierra Leone. While commenting further, he mentioned that the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, SLCAA, SLAA, and service providers are working effortlessly to create the enabling environment for aviation business to thrive in Sierra Leone by automatically reducing taxes on other airport charges as directive was issued.
Addressing the gathering, the Head of the delegation Mr. Alhaji Faye said that the goal of Transair was not
only to provide facilitation for Sierra Leoneans, but also to make Sierra Leone a hub for air transport in the world. He added: “Our business is specifically set up with the aim to bring quality and reliable services. As we aspire to provide value for money to our clients, Transair solution guarantee careful and thought out planning and coordination of the chain of services provided by different teams in assisting aircraft, ramp service, passenger assistance on line maintenance. We seek to continuously innovate the delivery of our services to ensure our customers receive excellent travel experience.”
The Ambassador to Senegal, His Excellency Alhaji Brima Koroma also expressed his delight in the government’s pursuit to develop the sector, which he said, has been demonstrated on the recent GST exemption from all aviation related charges; concluding that Transair would be the first low cost airline company in Sierra Leone.