President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday hailed the launch of a Delta Airlines flight linking Liberia to the United States as a boost for business and tourism in the west African nation.
On Sunday, Delta Airlines became the first American carrier to fly to Liberia in twenty years.
“Delta Airline’s inaugural direct flight from Monrovia to the United States opens the sky over Liberia for business, for commerce, for tourism, for travel,” Sirleaf said in a statement from the presidency issued Monday.
The service will operate weekly between Monrovia and Delta’s hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with a stop in Accra, Ghana.
Liberia, founded by freed American slaves in 1822, is Africa’s oldest independent state and Sirleaf said maintaining a link with the United States was an “economic necessity”.
Pan-American airlines used to fly between the United States and Monrovia until they pulled out in 1990, a year after the outbreak of a civil war which would last until 2003, leaving the country in ruins.