“The True Story About Why Air France Is Pulling Out”
Over the last 48 hours, news about aviation giant Air France decisively quitting flight to Liberia has spread like wildfire through the local media and rumor-mongering, with much of the narratives regarding the imminent departure of the France carrier shrouded in lies and misrepresentations.
Contrary to reports that Air France is pulling out of Liberia, with the last flight allegedly scheduled to and from Liberia tentatively set at 28 March 2022, primarily because the Roberts International Airport is poorly managed and falls short of meeting basic aviation standards, which makes it difficult for the French carrier to continue flying to Monrovia, a thorough and corroborated investigation has established the prime reasons why Air France would discontinue flying to Liberia anytime soon.
The discontinuation of flight to Liberia by Air France is entirely a policy position by the Government of France, which is principally in consonance with its geopolitical determination and disposition relative to ailing diplomatic ties with Mali, Bamako. This investigation credibly established that the imminent departure of the French carrier has absolutely nothing to do with the poor management of the RIA or the bad services and facilities of the airport relative to power outages and runway faults, which are not akin or unique to the RIA only.
Before embarking on its Monrovia (ROB) route, Air France’s prime route closer to Liberia was Mali which served as its regional transit hub—essentially to serve the needs of the French troop deployed in Mali to assist the troubled West African nation effectively combat and decimate the Jihadist (Terrorist) movement which has infiltrated and occupied parts of the country for several years now.
Because of its 2,400 troops deployed in Mali, the French government, as a matter of policy, had to prioritize Mali, Bamako as a major and permanent route to ensure that French citizens, institutions, and companies smoothly and constantly travel to Mali to essentially transact with the troops on the ground. So, Principally, it was because of the presence of France and other foreign troops under the zeitgeist of the United Nations (U.N.) in Mali, Air France flew to Mali almost daily. This is how and why the Bamako route was set into motion for Air France which is a national carrier.
In December 2021, diplomatic relations between France and Mali badly deteriorated after two coup d’états and the new military regime’s reluctance to agree to an immediate transition to civilian rule. The French ambassador to the former colony was expelled, a move greeted with public celebrations in Bamako. The presence of Russian mercenary forces from the private military Wagner Group has increased tension, with the EU accusing Mali’s military regime of using them to shore up their power.
“Multiple obstructions” by the ruling junta meant conditions were no longer in place to operate in Mali, France, and its African and European allies said in a position statement. Given the sour twist in diplomatic ties with the alien Military Junta, French President Emmanuel Macron quickly announced that he was withdrawing French troops from Mali with immediate effect. The French would pull out after nearly a decade of active combat against terrorists in the Sahel region.
Since the pronouncement of President Macron last December 2021, the withdrawal has been in full effect and French troops are nearly out of Mali which potentially brings to an end all French dealings with Mali including its national carrier Air France flying there.
Accordingly, on 11 January 2022, Air France announced on its website the cancellation of all flights to Mali as of January 2002 as part of sanctions placed on Bamako by the French government and the Economic Committee of West Africa or ECOWAS. The statement herein referenced can be read here: (https://airlinergs.com/air-france-suspends-flights-to-sanctions-hit-mali/
As far as the investigation established, Air France flew to Liberia on a conditional arrangement that originated from an official appeal made by the Liberian government to the French government. Before embarking on its flight route to Liberia, Air France flew directly to Mali with no connecting route to Liberia. So, with flight discontinued to Mali, the arrangement that led to Air France flying to Monrovia is fractured meaning the aviation giant can no longer continue flight to Liberia—on an arrangement that is non-existent. Again, Air France flew to Liberia on a conditional basis that originated from an official appeal by the government of Liberia to the French government to allow the French Carrier to connect Liberia to its Malian hub. This means Liberia was a secondary route, not a primary route as was Bamako, Mali.
Additionally, credible aviation sources have informed this investigation that the passenger flow to Liberia is very low and cannot cover the operational cost of Air France flying to Monrovia— meaning Air France would risk a terrible loss flying to Liberia under the pertaining circumstance of very low passenger’s flow, and of course, it is a given fact that no business wishes to operate at a loss.
Meanwhile, the management of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA-RIA) in a brief statement issued earlier today, to clarify the lies, misinformation, and disinformation regarding the state of the Airport and news of Air France to shortly discontinue flight to Liberia, confirmed this independent investigation, read the full statement of the LAA-RIA below:
“The Management of the Liberia Airport Authority(LAA-RIA) attention has been drawn to March 9, 2022, FrontPage Africa Publication stating, in summary, the withdrawal of Air France from landing and picking up from its Airport in which the paper insinuated such withdrawal due to poor lighting and management system.
The LAA through its management will do absolutely nothing to stall gains made by this Government. For clarity, Air France has to scale down its seven days per week schedule to three days per week due to the increase in diplomatic hostilities and the political differences between Paris and Bamako, and with French troops pulling out of Mali.
On January 11, Air France announced the cancellation of all flights to Mali as of January as part of sanctions placed on Mali by the French Government. (https://airlinergs.com/air-france-suspends-flights-to-sanctions-hit-mali/ )
Mali has been the regional transit hub for Air France’s passengers base and as such, it did not see it economically prudent to continue daily flights to Liberia with limited numbers of passengers.
The Liberia Airport Authority assures Liberians and the general public that it remains committed to putting in place every necessary measure(s) that will make Liberia attractive for Aviation investment”.
By Clarence Douglas Cooper, Independent Aviation Reporter