After 20 years without flights to Liberia, Dutch Airline Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines has recommenced flights to Liberia.
The airline left the country in the early 1990s, during the the civil unrest which destroyed, among other infrastructures Liberia’s only international airport at Robertsfield.
Touching down at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on the evening of Sunday, March 26, 2017, the return of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was a scene of excitement as passengers, airport workers and bystanders were seen pulling out their electronic gadgets to take photographs of the aircraft.
It can be recalled that on November 15, 2016, the airline announced the resumption of flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone. KLM now operates between Amsterdam, Freetown and Monrovia, on an Airbus A330-200 series which has over 268 seats. The flight operates three times a week, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Upon arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on March 26, Henri Ledoux, the director of delegation for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, said the KLM resumption means Liberia has a “very good” potential of clients to northern Europe and the United States.
“KLM is good for this kind of traffic. This is why we chose Liberia. We came with AirFrance two years ago. Finally the people from France say they prefer to go to Paris; so we prefer KLM, but it takes time,” Ledoux said.
He disclosed that KLM authorities are going to many places in Africa, but not everywhere.
“KLM Airlines serves 51 routes in Africa; and so there is a huge traffic, seven new destinations in Africa for AirFrance-KLM in 2007. We are back in Africa. If we are back, that means there is potential,” Ledoux added.
The KLM plans to expand its African network and will compete with other world class airlines, the statement said.