“Liberia is an important market for Delta and we are grateful for the support of the Liberian Government and Aviation Authorities as we celebrate two successful years serving Monrovia,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “We are the only U.S. airline operating direct flights to Liberia and our continued investment here will serve to increase opportunities for trade and commerce between Liberia, the United States and the rest of the world,” Cantarutti added in a statement issued in Monrovia yesterday.
Increased flights and customer service enhancements
Since launching its first flight to Liberia on September 4, 2010, Delta has increased its services from one to three times weekly. In addition to direct flights between Monrovia and New York JFK, Delta offers competitively priced fares on its nonstop services between Monrovia and Accra. Flights are operated using Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 209 seats.
Passengers flying in Delta’s business elite cabin benefit from comfortable seats with a 160 degree recline. All seats feature individual screens offering Delta on Demand – a wide selection of on-demand films, TV, games and music. During the flight, customers enjoy a personalized, five-course dining experience. Delta hopes that by 2014, all flights to and from Monrovia will feature Delta’s new full flat-bed seats, offering a 180-degree, horizontal full-flat bed.
Delta has introduced Economy Comfort - Delta’s premium economy cabin product – on all its Monrovia flights. Customers flying in Economy Comfort benefit from up to four additional inches of legroom for 35 full inches of seat pitch and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard Economy class seat.
Significant airport investment
In March this year, Delta and its joint venture partner Air France-KLM, with the support of the Liberian Government, opened a dedicated terminal at RIA. Terminal B, which is exclusive to Delta and Air France-KLM, provides upgraded facilities for passengers departing from Monrovia and was jointly funded by the two airlines.
Delta is currently working towards the implementation of the GPS Approach technology that it has developed to improve the safety and reliability of aircraft operations at the RIA. Delta’s GPS Approach system has been designed specifically for Liberia using U.S. Federal Aviation Administration standards. It works by shifting navigational reliance from ground based instruments to satellite based equipment and was successfully tried during a test flight in June this year. Once it is introduced any airline will be able to use the new technology, opening up Liberian airspace to more international carriers.
In the United States, Delta is more than halfway through a US$1.2 billion expansion of Terminal 4 at its JFK facility, which when completed, will be one of the largest terminals in North America. The new terminal will make connecting at New York-JFK even easier for international customers flying from Monrovia. Delta offers customers more than 55 onward connections from New York-JFK, including Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago. Currently around 70% of Delta’s passengers flying from Monrovia connect to other destinations via New York-JFK.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic “Airline of the Year” by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine. Delta was also named the “Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology, won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey and was the recipient of 12 Executive Travel Magazine Leading Edge Awards for U.S. airlines. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 320 destinations in 60 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft.