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The first Thomas Cook Scandinavia Airbus

02 Nov 2015

The first Thomas Cook Scandinavia Airbus A321 OY-TCE flight from Stockholm Arlanda Tuesday afternoon at 14:00hrs landed with 212 passengers for the 2015/2016-winter tourism season at the Banjul International Airport.

The passengers were received at the foot of the aircraft by AbdoullahHydara, the director general of The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) accompanied by Adama Njie, director of Marketing-GTBoard, CharbelHobeika, managing director of Gambia Tours and among other officials.

Commenting on the arrival of the Thomas Cook first flight for the season, AbdoullahHydara commended Thomas Cook for resuming the route after its cancellation of flight to the destination due to the Ebola virus outbreak in few countries in West Africa in 2014.

He disclosed that from this week, till April 12th 2016, Thomas Cook Scandinavia would fly into the country with 212 seat passengers on weekly basis. From November 27th Thomas Cook first flight from Helsinki will begin on weekly basis also with 212 seats till March 4th 2016.

DG Hydara thanked the efforts of the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Benjamin A Roberts and the GTBoard governing body chairman, Bakary Jammeh for their conducted sensitisation in UK, Scandinavia and other source markets against the negativity and misconstrue of some westerners on the past Ebola virus outbreak in some parts of West Africa in 2014, which The Gambia was not effected with.

As the sensitisation yielded positive results, he said similar campaign is in the offing to Scandinavian countries and by extension to Russia to expand The Gambia footprint. The director general of GTBoard thanked the MoTC, stakeholders and their agents together with the GTBoard governing body and most especially the government of The Gambia, under the leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Professor AlhajiDr.Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa for his continuous support to the tourism sector.

Whilst expressing optimism for this year’s tourist season, he thanked the Banjul International Airport management, GCAA, GIA, GID, NIA, Custom and all other parties operating within the airport for a job well done as they were able to implement a greater part of their discussion in the last pre-season meeting held at the Banjul International Airport (BIA).

CharbelHobeika, the managing director of Gambia Tour thanked Thomas Cook for resuming in The Gambia. He thus described Thomas Cook as a very good, old and traditional partner. He stated that Thomas Cook would do two flights a week, one from Stockholm and the other from Helsinki – which will start in November.

Hobeika expressed hope that other flights would follow suites, as last season was a really bad one.

The Destination Manager Services – Thomas Cook KirsiKarjalainen, expressed delight to see tourists from Scandinavia and Thomas Cook back to Destination Gambia.

For his part, Adama Njie, the director of Marketing – GTBoard expressed optimism for having a very good number of arrivals for this season. He called for continuous hard work as there is need to double efforts hence marketing is everyday and need continuous pushing to achieve the mandate of Vision 2020.

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