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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Gambia, Venezuela Air Services Agreement ratified


Tabling the motion for ratification, the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Balla Garba Jahumpa told deputies: “In order to make the agreement workable in both theory and practice, provisions are created for the granting of rights to each of the countries or contracting parties to establish and operate a scheduled international air service through designated airlines that enjoy the right to fly and also make stops in each other’s territory for the purpose of putting down and taking on international traffic in passengers, cargo, and mail.” 

The transport minister told lawmakers that the agreement will ensure aviation safety and security adding: “As such, it allow for improved air transport services, which in turn will boost the socio-economic development of the two countries.”

Minister Jahumpa said the aim of the agreement, “is to promote air travel between the West African sub-region and Latin America and beyond, and in doing so, contribute to the liberalisation of the African air transport market.” 

“This market has huge economic potential, given the large volumes of passengers that are generated annually. However, it is constrained and full of complexities, direct flights connections between one destination and another in the continent often poses a challenge and it is not unusual for passengers to experience prolonged delays at airports because flights have been cancelled or not available. The picture is daunting! This agreement is therefore meant to address such problems through increased flight connections from one destination to the other in the continent. The proposed liberalisation of access to air transport market as stated in Yamoussoukro Decision is clearly in line with these goals.”

According to the Minister, the implementation of the agreement will also give rise to employment opportunities in the aviation industry and will boost productivity in tourism and related activities.

He said the objectives of the agreement are consistent with those of the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), Vision 2016, and Vision 2020 respectively adding that the government of Venezuela has already ratified the agreement since March 2014. 


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