Several West African and European carriers have resumed commercial flights to Banjul, Gambia, after the airport reopened following a seven-month lockdown because of COVID-19.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New) was the first to return on October 31 with weekly service from Istanbul New, via Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l. Transair (Senegal) (R2, Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l) has also resumed weekly flights from Dakar, while Air Sénégal (HC, Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l) has returned with four flights a week scheduled as of November 1.

Togo’s ASKY Airlines (KP, Lomé) flight KP22 resumed four times weekly from Lomé, Accra, and Freetown and to Banjul on November 5. TUI Airways (BY, London Luton) has come back with weekly flights from London Gatwick and Manchester Int'l, while Spain’s Vueling Airlines (VY, Barcelona El Prat) on November 7 restarts weekly services with flight VY7574 from Barcelona El Prat.

The Gambia currently has no home-grown national scheduled carrier, but WestAF (Banjul) plans to launch from Banjul in 2021. The startup is in discussions with investors and expects to have financing in place for the new year, before applying for an AOC, co-founder and managing director, Richard Powell, told ch-aviation.

The Gambia reopened its land, air, and sea borders on October 16 but the airport only reopened on October 31 due to renovations at the main terminal building.

Information Minister Ebrima Sillah in September said the terminal was being revamped to make more space for passengers and luggage handling at the arrivals and departure halls, and more space for offices, shops, and a VIP hall on the upper floor. The control tower has also been upgraded and fitted with new air navigational equipment. Health protocols were in place to ensure safe and efficient operations, he said.