Start-up carrier Gambia Bird is to offer weekly services from Gatwick airport to the capitals of The Gambia and Sierra Leone, using Airbus A319 aircraft.
Business Traveller was alerted to the news on our forum, and Gatwick airport has confirmed that the first flight in from Banjul will arrive on Wednesday October 24.
According to the carrier’s website, flights will depart Banjul every Wednesday at 1430, arriving into Gatwick at 2155, before returning at 2250, and landing back into Banjul at 0425 the following day.
The service from Freetown will depart on Saturdays at 0040, arriving into Gatwick at 0830, returning at 1130 and landing back into the capital of Sierra Leone at 1730.
There are currently no direct, non-stop scheduled flights between London and Banjul, while Bmi (now incorporated within BA's operations at Heathrow) flies between Heathrow and Freetown.
Gambia Bird is also launching weekly flights from Banjul to Barcelona, and plans to launch services from Banjul to Accra, Conakry, Dakar, Freetown, Lagos and Monrovia.
CCO Karsten Balke said that the carrier is also in talks with Africa-specialist Brussels Airlines to establish cooperation between the two carriers.
Gambia Bird is owned by German airline group Germania, and will operate two Airbus A319s, configured for 12 business class and 126 economy seats.
The carrier’s website says that “a delicious range of complimentary cold or hot meals and snacks” will be served in economy class, as well as complimentary alcoholic and soft drinks.
Gambia Bird is one of several new carriers launching on the African continent, with Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s new no-frills airline Fastjet set to launch imminently, operating from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola (see online news July 4).
For more information visit gambiabird.com.
Report by Mark Caswell