Dozens of Liberians who witnessed the arrival of the Royal Dutch Airline Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij popularly known as KLM expressed delight of its return in the Country to resume operations of its services in Liberia.
The airlines left the country during the inception of the civil unrest which claimed human capital and infrastructures leaving the country in a devastating state after.
The return of KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines on March 26, 2017 at night hours since the 1990s, was a scene of excitement as passengers, airport workers and bystanders were seem pulling out their electronic gadgets to take the photograph of the blue and white airlines which symbolizes a ‘dolphin’
Some of the passengers who spoke to our staff expressed excitement for the return of the flight noting with smiles on the faces, said “This is what you call flight. It is safe and the pilot is good. I am just thrilled for KLM to be back in Liberia. This is what we Liberians would love to see. It tells you that we are returning to those days when this great airline, KLM was in Liberia. Good to be a passenger on board the maiden flight,” Sam, a passenger said as he disembarked the flight,” the asserted during the interview.
It can be recalled on November 15, 2016, the airlines announced the restart of its operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The flight is said to operate three times a week, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between Amsterdam, Freetown and Monrovia and Amsterdam respectively.
Speaking to this paper upon arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on March 26, 2017, Henri Ledoux, the Director of delegation Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia said the resumption means Liberia has a very good potential of clients to Northern Europe and the United States.
“KLM is good for this kind of traffic. This is why we chose Liberia. We came with AirFrance two years ago. Finally the people from France say they prefer to go to Paris. So we prefer KLM, but it takes time,” he said.
Ledoux disclosed that they are going in many places in Africa, but not everywhere.
“KLM Airlines serves 51 routes in Africa and so there is a huge traffic, seven new destinations in Africa for AirFrance-KLM in 2007. We are back in Africa. If we are back, that means there is potential,” he added.
The Royal Dutch Airlines plans to expand its African network and will compete with other world class airlines.
For his part, the Managing Director of Jos Travel & Tours Incorporated, agent for KLM in Liberia, Joseph N. Wamah said his company was excited for the resumption of KLM to Liberia
Wamah who has over 32 years of experience in the airlines industry said the resumption of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines means the country has the potential for good business.
“With KLM, you can go all over the world; this is why we say KLM is good for the market. We have worked so much with the Liberian Government over the years to improve the air traffic industry in Liberia. We have been responsible for many airlines coming into the country,” he said.
Regarding the airfares, Wamah disclosed that KLM is one of the cheapest; saying from Liberia to North Atlantic, America and other places is US$999.00 if the seats are available, Europe-US$599.00, all inclusive, but depends on availability.
“We have been looking around encouraging people that Liberia is a country that you can fly to. Liberia after the war is improving, things are getting better. We feel that there is a need for more airlines to come into this country. This creates job opportunities, competition, eases the travel need of the Liberian people,” he added. This is a special promotional fares which will last for some time.