Friday, April 19, 2013

■ GAMBIA: Government ratifies BASAs with Kenya, Saudi Arabia.

Gambia flagGambia's parliament has moved to ratify two Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA); one with Kenya, paving the way for possible Kenya Airways flights (KQ) and the second, with Saudi Arabia.

Francis Liti Mboge, Gambian Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure, said the two BASAs are part of the West African nation's Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) and Vision 2020 which also provide for the up-grading and expansion of Banjul International Airport with an eye to serving as a transit point from Europe and America into and out of Africa.
"Air travel in our part of the world suffers too many constraints. More often than not, passengers spend prolonged periods travelling from one destination to another, either because of the non-availability of flights or that inter-connections are complicated, or do not exist at all. The experience in other parts of the world is different.
There is therefore a strong need to pen up the African air transport market and make fares more affordable, inline with the objectives of the Yamoussoukro Decision. "Besides opening up of the air transport market, it is envisaged that the agreement will ease air travel in the sub-region as well as increase employment in the aviation industry," he said.

On the Bilateral Air Agreement with Kenya, Mboge highlighted that the move would grant rights to ''each contracting party to exploit international services on specified routes".