#Headlines

First commercial passenger flight lands after 3 months

Jun 24, 2020, 1:28 PM

Brussels Airlines flight SN 215 landed at Banjul International Airport at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, 22nd June, being the first passenger flight to land here since the government closed the county’s airspace as a measure to minimise the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country. 

The aircraft is an Airbus A300 with 150 passengers; half the normal load for such aircraft.

Some members of the National Covid-19 Taskforce and some immigration officers were at the airport to receive the passengers who are predominantly Gambians returning from Europe. There were also a few European tourists.

Reports from observers at the airport speak of a chaotic situation on the arrival of the passengers with suitcases strewn on the airside road bordering the terminal building.

Luggage tractors and buses blocked traffic on the road. Passengers scrambled to identify their luggage.  Once all the suitcases were identified, the arriving passengers boarded two buses which drove towards hotels in the TDA. One of the buses went to Tamala Hotel. However, no one was there to receive the exhausted travellers or help them. 

They stood around for hours before they were finally transported to The Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

Some of the passengers who waited long, found their ways to flout the quarantine.

“Passengers had no information during the flight about any quarantine arrangements. We heard that they wanted to quarantine us for two weeks," the speculation started onboard the plane. "Yes that is true," a passenger said.

"But they won't be able to quarantine all of us," another passenger claimed.

One passenger had even suggested if there was going to be mandatory quarantine he would bribe his way out of it. "In the Gambia money will get you anything," he alleged, as the plane landed and the passengers alighted.

They were loaded onto three waiting buses. One by one, their temperature was taken as they entered the buses and their hands were sprayed with sanitiser.

Then the questions began again this time directed at people who were supposed to be in the know - health and airport personnel.

After the long process, people tripped over each other as they wrestled to get to their bags. One traveller even claimed his suitcase had been tampered with. The suitcases didn't get to Customs for the usual controls for drugs and other illegal.

SN0215 flight had landed at 7.35pm. Passengers did not leave the airport until two hours after.

Passengers said that MoH and the Covid-19 Coordination Team need to do more to avoid repetition of what had happened before the next flight on 3 July 2020.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Minister Samateh on tour
Minister Samateh harps on govt’s commitment to quality healthcare provision
May 11, 2020, 12:38 PM

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the minister for Health has underscored the significant role of government in supporting the provision of affordable and quality health care for all Gambians.

Cheikh Yerim Seck
Senegalese journalist faces criminal charges
Jun 18, 2020, 12:08 PM

Journalist Cheikh Yerim Seck will be charged and placed under judicial supervision, local media in Senegal announced. According to Iradio, it will be after his face-to-face meeting with a judge.

Uk and Au
UK to work with AU to slow spread of covid-19 in Africa
May 21, 2020, 11:59 AM

The UK will invest up to £20 million in the African Union’s new ‘African Union Covid-19 Response Fund’ to tackle coronavirus and save lives.

Hassoum Ceesay
The Gambian Republic is solid and stable  Says Hassoum Ceesay
Apr 22, 2020, 1:37 PM

As The Gambian Republic clocks 50 years Friday, 24 April,2020, Gambian historian and museum curator, Hassoum Ceesay, who is also the director general of the National Centre for Arts and Culture has said in an interview with this medium that the ‘Republic of The Gambia which was declared 50 years ago ‘is solid, sound and stable’.

Mambury Njie1
Finance minister, ACP SG hold telebriefing on coovid-19 support to member states, Post-Cotonou negotiations
May 18, 2020, 1:06 PM

Quadrangle, Banjul, 15 May 2020 - The Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia,

Modou Njai
Gambia records 2 fresh cases of covid-19
Jun 9, 2020, 11:20 AM

Momodou Njai, the director of Health Promotion and Education has confirmed to this medium that two Gambian males have been tested positive of covid-19.

Momodou and Gibba
Ward councilor requests police chief to address Gunjur Police Station mobility constraint
May 21, 2020, 12:05 PM

Gunjur Ward councilor, Momodou Charreh Jibba has written to the Inspector General of Police challenging him to address the mobility constraint that is currently slowing the effective execution of the work of the police at the Gunjur Police Station.

Edi Mass Jobe
GCCI president urges gov’t to waive all corporate, payroll taxes for 2 years
Jun 4, 2020, 11:11 AM

The president of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Edi Mass Jobe, has called on government of The Gambia to waive all corporate and payroll taxes for 2 years to encourage investment and improve standards in the stated areas: hospitals and health businesses, hotels and tourism businesses and agri-businesses.