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Delta Expands Africa Presence With First-Ever Flight Between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia


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More good news in the business front.





Last update: 12:00 p.m. EDT Oct. 22, 2008

ATLANTA, Oct 22, 2008


4:01pm 10/22/2008


The only U.S. network carrier to serve Africa, today announced it will expand its service to the African continent with the introduction of the first and only flight between Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Monrovia's Roberts International Airport, Liberia*. The service, which will make a stop at Amilcar Cabral International Airport on Sal Island, Cape Verde*, will start in June, 2009.


Passengers on the only flight between the U.S. and Liberia will benefit from significant time savings over other routes. They also will be able to connect to more than 150 destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean via Delta's Atlanta hub.


"Delta is pleased to add Monrovia to our industry-leading Africa network," said Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president - Network and Revenue Management. "Passenger traffic to and from Africa continues to grow at some of the highest rates in the world. We are very encouraged with the response to our flights to Africa and look forward to serving Liberia and contributing to its trade and tourism development efforts."


Currently, Delta offers service between the United States and six African destinations with flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; Cairo, Egypt, and Cape Town in South Africa (via Dakar) and between Atlanta and Lagos, Nigeria, and Johannesburg, South Africa (via Dakar).


Liberia is situated in West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean to the country's southwest. The country has strong historical and cultural ties to the United States. With key exports of minerals and timber, there is a strong and growing market for business traffic between Liberia and the U.S.

In an announcement today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf praised Delta's investment in her country.


"I was excited to learn that Delta Air Lines has made the commitment to provide direct flight service to Liberia," said Johnson-Sirleaf. "Liberia continues to flourish and, with the commitment by companies in the U.S. to do business in our country, there is opportunity for continued economic growth. This development also provides convenience for Liberians in Diaspora to come home and to bring their skills and talents in support of the country's development. Delta Air Lines is providing a means to bring business into the country and we welcome them."

Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, which owns significant development projects in Liberia, also commented on the flight during the announcement.


"Two years ago, while attending the Clinton Global Initiative, I made a commitment to mobilize $30 million for Liberia after hearing President Sirleaf speak and appeal to the American private sector for support," said Johnson. "I have further committed to mobilizing funds through a recent $100 million finance protocol with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to build housing, as well as to build an 84-room villa style hotel. I applaud Delta Air Lines for making the commitment to provide direct air service to Liberia which will provide economic growth opportunities to Liberia from a variety of business sectors around the world," he added.


Delta's new service between Atlanta and Monrovia will be operated using a Boeing 757 aircraft with up to 174 seats in a two-cabin configuration -- 16 seats in Delta's award-winning BusinessElite service and 158 seats in economy class. Delta's BusinessElite service features all-leather sleeper seats, innovative food offerings from celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein and award-winning, original wine selections chosen by Delta's Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson. The airline's on-demand personal in-seat entertainment boasts more than 20 first-run and popular classic movies, a variety of TV programs, a broad range of music, and a suite of 12 video games in both classes of service. Economy class customers also benefit from new all-leather economy seats, amenity kits and enhanced food offerings.

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