Over the weekend, an aircraft called 'Fly Salone' landed at the Lungi international airport with passengers from the United Kingdom.
The aircraft, reportedly leased from Iceland Air by two Sierra Leonean businessmen, is a 200-seater passenger plane the owners say satisfies international safety standards, and will be regularly flying directly from the United Kingdom to Sierra Leone and back.
Fly Salone is owned by Jihad Saleh and Sam H. Sabrah, and is reportedly the first registered flight flying the Sierra Leone flag in recent years.
In an interview with Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma at the airport, he explained to journalists that a direct flight to and from the United Kingdom was good news for Sierra Leoneans, adding that the management of the airline is 100 percent Sierra Leonean.
Minister Koroma recalled that during the Ebola outbreak seven airlines stopped flying into the country, including British Airways, with only Royal Maroc and Brussels Airlines continuing operation throughout.
"It is a good step for us as a nation to own a flight and it helps to pave the way for Sierra Leoneans living in the Diaspora to think of ways to try to invest in the country," he said.
One of the passengers who flew on the maiden flight, Mohamed Sesay, said Fly Salone would indeed be a pride to the nation as the country now has an aircraft flying the national flag.
He praised the flight crew for providing professional and excellent services throughout the flight.