A message from our MD - recent events in The Gambia
Blog > A message from our MD - recent events in The Gambia
Having spent last week in The Gambia, our managing director, Chris, has a positive outlook for the future.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The FCO travel advice “against all but essential travel’ to The Gambia was lifted at 5.40pm on Monday 23 January.
As I write I’m on our Titan Airways flight returning from an eventful and indeed historic week in The Gambia. As you may well be aware there has been a prolonged period of political impasse in the country, following on from the 1st December elections. Whilst daily life in The Gambia has largely proceeded as normal, there has also been a certain degree of tension as to how events would unfold.
Throughout this time, I have been in daily contact with our marvellous team in The Gambia. In the last week, having been in the country, I have witnessed first-hand how skilfully they have handled the repatriation of our customers back to the UK following the mid-week change in Foreign Office advice. My thanks also go out to our customers for their patience and understanding, many of whom had their holidays interrupted or imminent travel plans disrupted. Our UK office, in a few short days have handled a huge volume of telephone calls and emails from concerned customers, friends and relatives.
I am pleased that we have managed to successfully execute our emergency repatriation plan in such a short space of time. This is also tinged with a certain sense of sadness that, as we enter our 30th year arranging travel to The Gambia, our customers and the Gambian people have been so adversely affected by events beyond their or our control.
However, on a far brighter note the political situation in The Gambia is reaching a peaceful outcome with the swearing in of President Barrow. This following a protracted period of, ultimately, successful negotiation led by ECOWAS and supported by the United Nations.
So, what does the future hold? Well in the short term we are optimistic for a change in FCO advice and we are in contact with the Foreign Office and British Embassy regarding this. We hope to resume our flying programme swiftly, getting our operation back up and running so there is minimal disruption to The Gambia tourist industry. Longer term recent events and their peaceful conclusion could spell a very positive and bright future for this wonderful country.
During the flight, news filtered through that a peaceful resolution now looked likely. I felt it appropriate to make an in-flight announcement, and the news was met with much cheers, applause and general jubilation!