Friday, January 11, 2013

Liberia: Don't Fly Delta - Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Warns

What may have appeared to be a major danger has been averted by the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority or LCAA.

The unsafe situation in which the American Airlines, Delta Air is engulfed may have prompted the LCAA to move quickly in advising the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf against a flight with it.

The Director General of the LCAA, Mr. Richelieu Williams, in a press statement issued in Monrovia Thursday, said unless certain conditions are met by Delta Air, President Sirleaf may not take a flight on it should there be any immediate or future plan by her to do so.

When Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmick Piah was contacted last evening, he declined to officially comment on the situation until he gets approval from the President.

But Director General Williams also disclosed that on a number of occasions, the airline has unceremoniously cancelled or delayed several flights to the detriment of Liberian travelers for unexplainable reasons.

He noted that following its own observations, the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority discovered that Delta was undergoing technical and mechanical problems, which are threatening to the safety of its Liberian passengers, something about which a formal complaint has already been made.

"As result of a series of delays and technical delays and cancellations of Delta flights en route to Liberia via Accra, the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority took the lead to a two-approach with Ghana's acquiescence to make a formal representation to Delta Management requesting explanation for the delays and cancellations; the two countries have so far communicated their concerns to Delta Management in Atlanta," Williams asserted.

"Owing to the urgency attached to the matter by Liberia and Ghana, a combined team of safety inspectors is being mobilized to carry out a comprehensive safety audit of Delta's operation operational and maintenance within the shortest possible time to meticulously and specifically conduct safety inspections on all '767-300 series short-listed on Delta's Aircraft Operating Certificate (AOC) viz-a-viz Air service License (ASL) issued by the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, "he assured.

According to him, plans were far advanced to invite the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to participate in the joint safety audit of the Delta's operational and maintenance facilities, noting that the LCAA has appropriately advised Delta Air Lines that the combined safety audit will be undertaken within 30-days as per the receipt of the communication flowed by a subsequent determination on the basis of the findings for the possible removal of all 767-300 from Delta's AOC.

Meanwhile, LCAA Director General has quoted Ghana Civil Aviation Authority has expressed dissatisfaction over the airlines' poor customer service bordering on rudeness, indifference or brusque manner by Delta flight attendants, as well as the alleged use of old aircraft on the Ghana-USA route and the repeated major inconvenience and additional costs experienced by Ghanaian customers to mechanical failure of lavatory system resulting to flight reschedules and cancellations.

The Ghanaians also noted that more than 18 reschedules and cancellations were recorded between November and December 2012.


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