Monrovia – After 26 years away from Liberia, the Regional Director of Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines has disclosed that the airline is back in the country and here to stay for good.
Speaking Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the official launch of the airline services in the country, Philippe Barbieri said the return of the airline means a lot to the country and its people.
The airlines left the country during the inception of the civil unrest which claimed human capital and infrastructures leaving the country in a shattering state.
Barbieri said based on the receptions from Liberians and others in the country since the arrival of the first flight on March 26, 2017, it showed that Liberians were waiting for them.
“We are back because for us it is an important event towards Sierra Leone and Monrovia. We are a group of two big airlines, KLM and Air France."
"Monrovia is part of a big family of 51 destinations in Africa,” Barbieri said.
According to the KLM Regional Director for Liberia, Sierra Leon, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Senegal, he is very confident that the new weekly air travel or service will bring positive benefits to Liberia.
Barbieri noted that with the friendly environment of Amsterdam airport, travelers from Liberia will easily be able to connect to any distinctions in Europe, Americas, Asia and other parts of the world.
“It will contribute to the speedy economic growth of Liberia from this moment,” he added.
Although the airline started flight operations to Liberia on March 26, 2017, Barbieri disclosed that there has been tremendous encouragement.
“After few weeks of operations, we have reached 70% and for the coming weeks until June, we expect to reach 78%."
"This is in accordance with our business skill and what we are expecting."
"People are coming and using KLM to fly to Europe and other areas,’ he indicated.
The flight is said to operate three times a week; Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between Amsterdam, Freetown and Monrovia and Amsterdam respectively.
He said the 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. 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,” he added.
The Royal Dutch Airlines plans to expand its African network and will compete with other world class airlines.