Frequent cancellation of flights and intermittent technical problems experienced by Delta Airlines have pushed Liberia’s authorities to advise President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and government officials against travelling by the American airline.
Liberia’s Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) and the Ministry of Transport have also ordered a safety audit on the airline.
Since Delta resumed flights in 2010 to Liberia following the end of the civil war, President Johnson Sirleaf and most of her officials frequently use the carrier for travel to the United States.
LCAA head Richelieu Williams said the decision was based on the number of delays and cancellations of Delta flights to Liberia via Ghana for technical reasons.
Mr Williams said this was not only happening in Liberia, but also in Ghana where civil aviation authorities were reporting similar problems.
He said when approached, Delta had admitted that there was a technical problem, but did not state the gravity of the problem.
Transport minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe said the LCAA and its Ghanaian counterpart have already written separate letters to the management of Delta Airlines and have agreed to conduct a joint safety audit on the American airline.
“Recent incidents of flight cancellations and unexplained delays sometimes owing to technical reasons heightened a joint representation by the two civil aviation authorities to compel the safety audit within the shortest possible time. As a requirement, Delta is expected to comply,” Minister Nagbe said.
Delta flies directly to the John F. Kennedy airport in New York from Liberia.
Before it resumed flights to the country, Liberians travelling to the United States had to go to Brussels from where they boarded Brussels Airlines, AfricaReview reports.