Senegal opens new international airport with economic hopes

2017-12-07 20:00
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Diass - Senegal's new international airport was opening its runways on Thursday as the West African country hopes to become a travel hub for the region.

Airport International Blaise-Diagne, which had faced more than 10 years of delays, is meant to anchor Senegal's economic and tech center. The airport has had mixed reviews with its location of more than 50km from the capital, Dakar. A connecting train service is still years from completion.

The airport, with an estimated cost of $575m, is five times larger than the old one. It is expected to see 3 million passengers in its first year. The government is aiming for 5 million passengers in 2023 and 10 million in 2035.

A number of cities in West Africa are competing to be the region's air hub including Lome, Togo, which is the base of operations for ASKY Airlines, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Leopold Sedar Senghor international airport, located in the congested capital, was closing on Thursday and has been handed over to Senegal's military. Most airlines including Delta, Royal Air Maroc, TAP and others have confirmed they will switch over once the old airport closes.

The new airport is vital to Senegal's growth, said Tidiane Tamba, spokesperson for its management company Limak-Aibd-Summa.

"That's our mission, to become the new hub of Africa," Tamba told The Associated Press.

Though far from Dakar, the airport sits between the capital and beach towns that authorities hope will draw more tourism.

The capital accounts for about 55% of Senegal's GDP, according to the World Bank, and the airport is meant to spur economic growth in an area that remains largely farmland.

An international conference center and hotel have been constructed and a sports arena and housing are being built.

Addressing concerns about traffic, local bus company Dakar Dem Dik director Moussa Diop has said 40 buses will travel between Dakar and the new airport 24 hours a day.

Taxi drivers estimate that a trip to the new airport will cost around $32.

Perrine Lucas and Balla Moussa Bangoura arrived at the old airport on Wednesday from France and were told by Transair that their connecting flight for Zinguinchor would leave on Thursday from the new airport.

Though they marveled at its size and modern finish, "it's quite complicated to get here and expensive," Lucas said.


Read more on:    senegal  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.