Delta are postponing their arrival to Kenya again and Liberia as well. It’s been a long wait for Delta to come to Kenya, with the resultant direct flight to US and what’s a few more months? That Liberia was included in the statement that cited insecurity matters kind of cushions the blow.
And what are some of the insecurities that maybe caused the department oh homeland security to put a pause on the route? Shashank has a nice post on security at JKIA – -i.e. the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – in Nairobi
That the situation in neighboring Somalia is escalating again, probably makes US security officials want to put as much distance between the US and East Africa – and by having more than one airport e.g. Amsterdam, Dubai, London filtering passengers from East Africa is a safer way than having them walk into Atlanta directly from Nairobi.
2009 still looks like a good year for investments to Kenya and Delta will be more than welcome when they do land. The competition will be welcome here, and I like that Delta has a corporate blog that will perhaps rub off on some of our local airlines with PR woes.
excerpts from the Official Statement
ATLANTA, June 2, 2009 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has been notified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the Transportation Security Administration will require more time to approve Delta’s planned direct flights to Nairobi, Kenya and Monrovia, Liberia. Delta in response issued the following statement:
“Delta regrets any inconvenience to our customers caused by the postponement of our new direct service to Kenya and Liberia. The airline is proactively contacting customers to reaccommodate them on long-established connecting flights offered by our joint venture partners Air France-KLM and other SkyTeam member airlines, which carry Americans to these destinations in Africa through their European hubs.
“Delta appreciates DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s continued focus on finalizing approvals for Delta’s direct service to Africa as quickly as possible. Delta in October 2008 notified the U.S. government of its plans to offer new service to Kenya and Liberia. However, Delta was informed only yesterday by DHS that it would require additional time to approve these new flights.
“Africa continues to be an important region for Delta. Delta is the only airline offering scheduled service between the United States and Africa, currently serving six destinations in five countries: Accra, Ghana; Cairo, Egypt; Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; and Dakar, Senegal. This week Delta upgraded its service between Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa, to a nonstop flight operated with a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft featuring 180-degree full flat seats in its BusinessElite cabin.”