Delta Airlines has announced the suspension of all its flights to Liberia due to weak passenger demand, according THE NEWS, a newspaper based in the capital city of Monrovia. It is unclear how the suspension by this major U.S. air carrier will affect traffic overall to the West African nation. There are thousands of Liberian nationals living in the U.S. who may now be forced to seek alternative methods, and other airlines to return home.
However, the Government of Liberia said it is in high-level consultations with the management of Delta Airlines intended to explore options that will not disrupt the experience and convenience of traveling via Delta.
A government delegation comprising Counselor Seward Cooper, Minister of State for Legal and Economic Affairs and Mr. Gyude Moore, Deputy Chief of Office Staff in the Office of the President, is in Atlanta, Georgia, to meet with the management of Delta Airlines, after Delta informed the government of the suspension of its service to Monrovia, effective August 31, 2014, due to weak passenger demand.
Delta Airlines commenced direct flights to New York from Monrovia via Accra, Ghana in 2010. While Nigeria and Ghana, two other destinations of Delta Airlines, are netting 10,000,000 and over 2,000,000 passengers per year respectively, Liberia's highest passenger level was only 205,000, recorded in 2013.
Delta has informed the Liberian Government that the last eastbound flight from New York will occur on August 30th, and the last westbound flight from Monrovia will be on August 31st.
Meanwhile, the management of Delta Airlines has thanked the Liberian Government for the support it continues to receive, and has reassured the government that it will continue to explore avenues that are economically feasible for the lifting of the suspension and a resumption of direct flights between Liberia and the United States.
Liberia is not the only country where the airline has cut, or plans to suspend service. Delta also announced that it is drastically reducing service to the South American nation of Venezuela on Monday. It is over a dispute with the government over what airline officials call, revenue getting “trapped” in the South American country.