The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Air France Resumes Operations

By Bill W. Cooper

Despite the surge in the country’s COVID-19 cases, Air France has officially resumed its operation in Liberia thus enabling travelers from Monrovia to Paris Charles de Gaulle including 75 other destinations through a daily flight by Airbus 1350.

The aircraft was originally scheduled for full operation in April, 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has flown in its first batch of 45 passengers, with18 of their crew members on Thursday, November 20, through the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County.

The aircraft which left the country during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a result of the RIA’s deplorable runway condition and other genuine reasons for five (5) years ago is said to be the biggest flight that will be entering into Liberia, as it will also serve Monrovia as a continuation of service to Bamako, Mali.

The colorful event which was held in honor of the aircraft at the Farmington Hotel, brought face-to-face over 50 guests including the Air France Vice President for Africa, Henri Hourcade, the head of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), Moses Y. Kollie, the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) Managing Director, Allan J. Klayee and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) Deputy Minister among others.

Speaking during the arrival ceremony at the Farmington Hotel, Air France Vice President for Africa, Henri Hourcade said that the resumption of the new flight demonstrates and portrays a strong symbol of the strengthened partnership between France and Liberia.

Mr. Hourcade emphasized that the flight is undoubtedly aimed at reinforcing the business and friendly relations between the two countries as well as promoting tourism and culture.

According to him, by connecting Monrovia to Paris and the rest of the world, Air France is prepared to support Liberia’s economic dynamism, indicating that their airline will also facilitate travels and enable international companies to expand their presence, their activities and exchange with their Liberian partners owing to the fact that their hub in Paris Charles de Gaulle offers very good connections to US, UK, Lebanon, India, China and more.

 He added, “We also believe in the tourism opportunities offered by the exceptional diversity of this country’s heritage as well as by the beauty of its natural sites, and in a world, the new Monrovia-Paris route offers very promising prospects.”

The Air France VP then lauded the Liberian government through the LCAA, MoT and the RIA among others for the warm welcome accorded them thereby reaffirms their fullest cooperation in promoting the country’s business and friendship relations.

Earlier, the LAA Managing Director, Allan J. Klayee lauded the Air France team for resuming flight in the country, stating that the flight as a major international carrier, has earned itself the global reputation of being a reliable airline around the world.

 He added that Liberia being added to the destination of travels for Air France is welcoming and an opportunity, alluding that the management of the LAA sees the return of the aircraft as a development that’s worth celebrating.

In remark, the LCAA Director General, Moses Y. Kollie said that the return of Air France to the country represents Liberia’s ability not only to compete but to also thrive in the world’s most important and challenging economic sector.

He added that the nation’s aviation industry is showing to the world what’s possible in Liberia; that world-class business can progress, noting that Liberia provides a fertile ground for businesses to succeed.

However, the group of Air France-KLM has been present in Africa for more than 85 years, as Africa is a strategic area. Since the beginning of the COVID -19 crises, Air France has maintained their services in almost all countries on the continent as soon as they had approvals from said country authorities.

Air France has total seats of 324 with 34 in business cabin, while 24 in Premium Economy cabin and 266 in Economy cabin. The aircraft offers more spacious cabin, with windows 30% larger, WiFi onboard and lighting adapted to each flight phase.

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