The flights left The Gambia with about 24 hours between them, last Sunday and Monday. In both cases, EU Delegation staff jumped in to help coordinate passenger lists, obtain a landing authorisation and to assist at the airport with ground handling procedures and answering questions. For the Spanish flight, a representative of the Guardia Civil and of the Spanish Police, based in The Gambia helped make sure everything went smoothly.
These two successful flights have achieved a major drop in the number of European citizens and residents who remain in The Gambia after the closing of its airspace on 23 March, and in search of a way to travel back to Europe. The flight organised by the Dutch picked up a total of 90 passengers in Banjul, representing 12 different nationalities, before flying to Cabo Verde to further fill up the plane. The flight to Barcelona, Spain, left filled to the brim with 298 passengers, representing in total 14 different nationalities.
Adding 289 and 90 to the previous total (1,677), results in a new total of 2,056 Europeans repatriated from The Gambia on a total of 10 flights to date, the result of unflinching cooperation in a spirit of solidarity among European countries, something the EUD in Banjul is very proud to be part of.