(eTN) – With the restrictions placed on July 8 and 9 on commercial flights to and from Juba now lifted, airlines are back on the route in full swing, if not more. Jetlink, in the run-up to Independence Day on July 9, went from 2 to 3 flights a day, all operated on their modern CRJ200 aircraft carrying up to 50 passenger on each flight, while Kenya Airways, now operating twice a day, up from previously one flight a day only, has switched from the Embraer jets to the B737-800, doubling the seat capacity compared to the E170 they otherwise used before on each departure.
Said a source from Juba’s international airport: “We are experiencing a high volume of passengers now. After the independence weekend, many travelers on business are flooding into Juba. They are looking for trade and investment chances and there are plenty. We are a new country now and need a complete infrastructure, and our government is keen to get private investors in all sectors. So for now, we welcome every one coming here and thank the airlines for their support. Some are flying more often than before and others are using bigger aircraft so that everyone who wants to come has a seat. Fares are still a bit high, but we expect this to reduce because of competition between the airlines.”
Airline sources, however, lamented the crammed facilities in Juba for departure and arrivals and asked, without wishing to be named, that the new airport be finished very soon to avail better facilities for travelers and airline personnel working at the airport.
Hotels in Juba are reportedly fully booked, have been in the run-up to the independence weekend, and continue to be for the time being as the “novelty” of visiting a new country and getting new “stamps” in passports seems to hold a special attractions for many travelers, now reading “Republic of South Sudan.”