Speaking to AYV, Leonard Balengu Koroma, Minister of Transport and Aviation disclosed that Kenya Airways is expected to resume operations today, adding that Air France and Air Cote d’ivoire is also expected to resume operations very soon.
According to the Minister, this development is good news as it is restoration of confidence in the ability of government to fight Ebola to a successful conclusion.
The Minister said there were nine airlines operating in the country before the Ebola outbreak but that 7 out of the nine suspended operations. The two airlines that were still in operations, he said, were Brussels Airlines and Air Morroc. He said, throughout the Ebola outbreak he has been busy travelling all over the world pleading with the different airlines to resume flight in the country.
He said if those two airlines would not have continued operations, Sierra Leone would have been totally cutoff from the rest of the world.
Speaking about measures put in place to ensure that passengers are safe before boarding flight at the country’s international airport, the Minister said the Lungi International Airport is the best in terms of screening passengers in the entire Continent.
The Minister however attributed the dramatic hike in the price of air ticket to what he described as market forces. According to him, the only thing that would reduce the air ticket price is when there is competition.
He went on to state that there is a serious problem with transportation in the country but that the government has for the first time procured 100 buses. He said the delay to have the buses in Sierra Leone was as a result of the fact that the inspection team that was to inspect the buses were not allowed to travel due to the Ebola outbreak. He however promised that the 100 buses will arrive in Sierra Leone by the end of June.