A sub-regional air transport carrier, Air Mali, has launched its flights to the Roberts International Airport (RIA).
This is in furtherance of its desire to strengthen the network by the opening and multiplication of routes linking several West and Central African capitals including Accra, Monrovia, Nouakchott, Brazzaville and soon Lagos and Freetown.
At a ceremony held at the RIA recently, Captain Moses Weafur, who proxy for the Director-General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), welcomed to the Malian delegation to Liberia.
“We are blessed and can now get on with the business of the brotherly relationship between our two countries and do everything to foster your business,” he said. Captain Weafur promised that the LCAA, regulator for all aviation activities in Liberia, will do all it can to ensure that Air Mali succeeds in Liberia.
He expressed the LCAA’s satisfaction that Air Mali has met all the requirements and has been granted the go-ahead to fly their aircrafts to Liberia using McDonnell Douglass MD-87 and Bombardier CRJ 200.
Capt. Weafur noted that the Liberian President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attached significant importance to the relationship and requested the LCAA to create the enabling environment for Air Mali to do business in Liberia.
However, the LCAA executive sounded a note of caution. “We expect the highest level of professionalism and commitment to the travelling public between our two countries,” adding further that the LCAA will guide Air Mali whenever they consult the Authority so that they (Air Mail) has a hitch-free operation to Liberia.
Mali’s Minister of Equipment and Transport, Mr. Ahmed Diane Semega, who headed the Air Mali delegation, said the resumption of flights between Bamako and Monrovia will become an effective instrument for development and cooperation between both countries especially in the area of trade.
Mr. Semega noted that the geographical proximity between Mali and Liberia is very short. He pointed out that the Freeport of Monrovia which is the closest seaport to Mali, should permit the two countries intensify the trade between both countries.
“Considering such opportunity, Mali has very strategic reasons considering the necessity to create diverse opportunities for various sectors of the economy,” he said; adding that Mali and Liberia have dynamic cooperation that must be exploited.
He noted that this maiden Air Mali flight will re-energized this cooperation as well as promote the exchange of friendly ties between the two countries. He encouraged Air Mali to strengthen this route so as to serve as a basis for regional economic integration.
He also used the opportunity to transmit fraternal greetings from the President of Mali, His Excellency Amadou Toumani Touré to the President of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He also expressed thanks to the Liberian officials who facilitated every step of the process.