A new Gambian airline, FlyWestAf, is soon to start operations. Even though many airlines are reducing operations and cutting costs, whether it be by retiring their Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 fleets, or by simply sizing down their network, FlyWestAf co-founder Richard Powell has definitely not given up. He and his team are finalising procedures to create the 1st West African low-cost airline, FlyWestAf. The airline is planning to fly from Gambia’s capital, Banjul, to Bissau, Dakar, Freetown, Bamako, Monrovia, Conakry and Praia (respectively the capitals of Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Capo Verde). As written on the start-up’s website,’the low-cost model continues to gain momentum globally, leaving Africa as the only remaining continent that does not offer a true low-cost carrier option.’ There have been some low-cost carriers that have come up recently in Southern Africa, such as Tanzania-based Fastjet (which ceased operations last year), but the low-cost concept remains a relatively new business model for Africa, especially in the Northern and Western parts of the continent. If FlyWestAf gets off the ground, it will be competing with Brussels Airlines, Transair, Guinea Airlines, Air Peace and Air Senegal on the Banjul-Dakar route and with Air Senegal on the Banjul-Bissau route. On top of this, it will also be competing with Transair, Air Peace and ASKY Airlines on the Banjul-Freetown route and with Guinea Airlines on the Banjul-Conakry route. Let’s hope that this start-up will take off into glory, but in the meantime, let’s have a jolly Sunday! 23rd of August 2020.