The first flight of Thomas Cook for the new winter season landed at the Banjul International Airport (BIA) on Tuesday.
A total of 212 tourists were onboard the airbus A321 OY-TCE which flew direct from Stockholm, Sweden. It landed at the Banjul Airport at about 2.48pm local time. The tourists onboard were received at the foot of the airbus by the director general of The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) who was accompanied by officials from the GTBoard, The Gambia Hotel Association and Gambia Tours.
Speaking to the pressmen at the BIA, Abdoulie Hydara the GTBoard DG said the arrival of the airbus A321 will mark the beginning of more flights for the new winter season. “Thomas Cook is exceptional; they will be doing eleven flights per week,” he disclosed.
He expressed satisfaction and thanked Allah SWT for another season. He also applauded His Excellency the President for creating the enabling environment and the minister of Tourism and Culture for his advice.
Hobeika Charbel, the managing director of Gambia Tours said it was a good start that everyone is looking forward to a booming tourist season. He noted that prior to the beginning of the new season, everybody was well prepared.
Kirsi Karjalainen, Destination Gambia service manager for Thomas Cook said this year’s season, just like in previous years, would be exciting. She further confirmed that Thomas Cook will do more flights from the United Kingdom to Destination Gambia compared to previous years.
Adama Njie, the director of Marketing at GTBoard expressed optimism about the new winter season. He added that the next Thomas Cook flight would also come from Scandinavia but this time in Helsinki, Finland.
Njie noted that the new season is very promising and said the GTBoard is very much optimistic of a successful season compared to the previous two seasons.
by Yunus S. Saliu