Two new airlines are in line to add to the Freetown route, the government has announced, according to reports on Friday.Turkish Airline and Air Peace Airline of Nigeria will begin flying to Freetown on February 24 and 26 respectively, according to the report.
Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma, was quoted by the Excusive Newspaper as saying the two airlines will bring to nine the total carriers currently flying to the country.
He noted that this is an indication of great improvement in the aviation sector.
Sierra Leone has been struggling to reestablish its air transport industry after it nearly collapsed as a result of the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic which forced many airlines to stop operation.
Some of the airlines which left the country as a result of that have still not returned, like British Airways and Gambia Bird.
However, others like Brussels and Asky, have returned.
There have also been a handful of new entrants, like Air France, KLM, Air Mauritania, Med View and Fly Mid Africa.
The aviation ministry says it is expecting more flights as the country works on improving its tourism sector.
Turkish Airline will link Freetown to Istanbul Ataturk airport via an unspecified neighboring West African capital.
The agreement with the airline was initiated by the Sierra Leone government through the Turkish government, in a bid to improve on the ties between the two countries.
It comes about five years since the two signed an Open Skies Agreement.
Air Peace, one of Nigeria’s foremost airlines, is coming to Freetown as part of an expansion drive that will also see it add Banjul (Gambia) and Dakar (Senegal) to its destination.
The airline says the new additions will bring to 14 its total flight destinations.