Delta Air Lines will launch new service between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia come September 4, expanding the airline's position as the leading U.S. carrier operating flights to Africa.
The new service will connect Delta's hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Roberts International Airport in Monrovia with a stop in Accra, Ghana. The flight will be operated on 215-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, equipped with 34 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in economy.
Initial service will be once a week. Flights from Atlanta are scheduled to depart for Liberia on Saturdays at 2:25 p.m. and arrive in Monrovia at 7 p.m. the next day. Service back to the U.S. takes off from Liberia at 5:30 p.m. and arrives in Atlanta at 5:30 a.m. the next day.
Delta has received approval from the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority, and preliminary approval from the U.S. government, to sell seats for the new flight for the planned launch in September. Final U.S. government approvals are expected before the flight begins.
The carrier had previously intended to begin service to Monrovia in June 2009, but was delayed while Roberts International Airport implemented measures to ensure its compliance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Delta, which has operated in Africa since 2006, has also announced its intention to serve up to 10 African destinations from the U.S., with aircraft ready to begin service pending U.S. and foreign government approvals. This includes new year-round service between Atlanta and Accra, which begins June 1 with three weekly flights and expands to four weekly flights on June 14 while complementing existing five-times weekly service between New York-JFK and Accra.
On June 2, Delta will also begin nonstop seasonal service between New York-JFK and Abjua, Nigeria. In June and July, the carrier will add two additional weekly nonstop flights between Atlanta and Johannesburg to support travel to and from the 2010 World Cup.
This summer, Delta will operate flights to seven African destinations. In addition to Monrovia, Abjua, Accra and Johannesburg, Delta will offer service to Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos, Nigeria. Delta also intends to serve Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Nairobi, Kenya; and Luanda, Angola once government approvals are received.
As the first carrier serving Africa nonstop from the United States, Delta has grown from 22 weekly departures to and from Africa in July 2007 to nearly 80 planned for July 2010.