Airline Sky Mali makes its first flight from Bamako to Timbuktu in almost ten years

It is now possible to fly from Bamako to Timbuktu. A commercial aircraft landed Monday for the first time since 2012 in Timbuktu.
The frequency of flights between Bamako and Timbuktu should be two flights per week. With a stopover in Mopti in the coming days. These two new destinations are in addition to those of Kayes and Gao, also served recently.
Since Air Mali ceased its activity in 2012, there were no more commercial civil flights to these localities. It is the birth of a new company, Sky Mali, last year that has made it possible to relaunch an offer of connections to the interior of the country, and this in spite of the important security constraints.
Until then, there was only the often dangerous road and the boat to travel by. So in Timbuktu, the arrival of this first flight was greeted with relief by many inhabitants. “If you have an urgent matter, you can easily travel to Bamako to solve the problem and return quickly. So it’s a great relief, because it develops the region. It’s a safer, faster way,” one trader said.
But for these new air links to come into being in the north of Mali, safety had to be considered, not only for passenger check-in but also for takeoffs and landings. Sky Mali relied on the Famas, the Minusma and especially the Barkhane force,” explains General Manager Tahir Ndiaye.
“They really facilitated the installation, they deployed all the security procedures that Sky Mali had to adopt. And leaves before operating to make contact with the Barkhane forces so as not to mix up the shipping lanes. »
According to the director of the company, the first lines opened at the end of 2020, Kayes and Gao already show a fill rate of 80%.
‘‘The problems of insecurity make travel by land difficult, so it is a need of the Malian people and the authorities. It’s been six months since the company was launched, there is a response from the market, the flights are full… It’s unexpected, unexpected.’’ Said Tahir Ndiaye

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Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network