By Momodou Jarju
The Gambia Experience has said in a statement that they have added three new weekly flights to The Gambia following the bankruptcy of British airline, Thomas Cook.
In a press release to this medium, The Gambia Experience, a UK tour operator owned by Serenity Holidays Company limited, said they acted quickly to secure additional flights flying between the UK and Banjul this winter to support Gambian tourism following the failure of Thomas Cook.
“It has been a difficult task given how close it is to the beginning of the winter season. However, the UK tour operator has been able to add a further Gatwick departure and new Manchester and Birmingham flights,” the release stated.
The Government of The Gambia called for calm from Gambians and all holiday makers amid what it called the “devastating” news of Thomas Cook announcing its bankruptcy, a statement from the presidency said last month.
According to Business Insider on its online news site based in US, the 178-year-old British travel company and airline, Thomas Cook, declared bankruptcy early Monday (23rd September 2019) morning, suspending operations and leaving hundreds of thousands of tourists stranded around the world.
The statement from the presidency said given the crucial role tourism plays in the Gambian economy, the Barrow-led Government is shocked and saddened by the devastating news of Thomas Cook’s collapse following an unsuccessful attempt to secure a bailout.
“Thomas Cook, the oldest and one of the most popular names in leisure travel with a track record of over 150 years, flew in British tourists to The Gambia for over two memorable decades. Because The Gambia annually receives some 30% of its tourists from the UK, the company found it appealing and profitable to fly to the Destination. Although the Airline only operates in The Gambia during the Winter Season (6 months), it has contributed significantly in addressing our air access challenge and accounts for a staggering 45% of tourists visiting the Destination during the tourism season,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, The Gambia Experience said they would now operate tri-weekly flights as opposed to bi-weekly flights during the winter.
The tour operator said: “The Gambia Experience will now operate three weekly flights between Gatwick and Banjul, with a new Monday departure adding to its Tuesday and Friday flights. The Monday service is on sale for travel periodNovember 11th to April 20th (2020), using the company’s partner airline Titan Airways. The A320 aircraft has 150 seats with a choice of Economy, Star and Star Plus upgrades.”
They have added Manchester and Birmingham flights chartering a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Monday Manchester departures will operate from December 16th to April 27th and Wednesday Birmingham flights from December 18th until April 22nd with economy flying including exit seat upgrades.
The new flights are now on sale, as well as flight tickets originating from Banjul which range from one way to a 12month return ticket, the press release said.
The release added: “As a specialist to The Gambia for 32 years, The Gambia Experience prides itself on its high-level customer service and wide choice of holidays and flights. In addition to its UK headquarters, the company maintains its own resort office based at the Senegambia Hotel which is manned by a large and experienced team headed up by resort manager, Joyce Stavroulakis.”