- Westminster Group's flagship vessel, the Sierra Queen, is not undergoing final safety checks following repairs.

The group says sea trials are well under way and the vessel is now based at the company's Targrin Ferry Terminal from which operations will be conducted.

Operational and regulatory processes and procedures are being put in place and the crew undergoing deployment training.

New 50 seater coaches to transport passengers to and from the airport to the ferry terminal are due to arrive in the next week or so and tickets are now available for sale on the Sovereign Ferry's website.

Chief executive Peter Fowler said: "Whilst we have further work to do in developing the various terminals and landing jetties around Freetown and organising additional routes and services, I am delighted that we are now, at last, approaching commencement of this much needed and eagerly awaited service.

"We are encouraged that passenger numbers travelling through the airport, both embarking and disembarking, continue to recover with some 15,486 total passengers in December; and indications are that January will be even higher, which means that the fast, safe and efficient transfer service offered by the Sierra Queen between the airport and mainland is expected to be in high demand."

At 3:39pm: [LON:WSG] Westminster Group PLC share price was +1.63p at 19p

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