Liberia once had its own airline. But that was 30 years ago during the country’s golden years. Following the advent of the civil war, the national carrier went bust. Today, however, that sorry story is about to change for the better, as Liberian president George M. Weah on Friday, October 30, 2020 dedicated a new national airline dubbed the “Lonestar Air”.
Speaking during a special dedicatory program at the Roberts International Airport, President Weah expressed his delight to witness an auspicious ceremony organized by the promoters of the new airline, having applied to the Government for permission to operate as a National Flag Carrier for Liberia.
“You will recall that during my Inaugural Address in January 2018, I declared that Liberia is open for business, and invited all fair-minded investors to come to Liberia to make their investments and do business under the laws of Liberia, that would create jobs for our people and make positive contributions to our economy,” President Weah said, noting that he returned to Liberia from his first Official Visit to France in early 2018, he announced that he would encourage initiatives to develop a new airline for Liberia that would connect the country to other parts of the world.
“Recently, the Ministry of Transport informed me that, in response to my vision and my clarion call for this specific enterprise to be developed, potential investors from our sister country of Ghana have formed a partnership with Liberian entrepreneurs and businesses, and have applied to the aviation authorities for permission to jointly develop a new airline for Liberia,” the Liberian leader emphasized.
President Weah said he firmly believes that this is a timely initiative that should be commended and encouraged, saying, “I have accordingly instructed the Ministry of Transport and the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority to give the necessary support to this venture, within the framework of all applicable laws and regulations, both domestic and international, to ensure that there is no compromise with the safety of our citizens who will utilize these proposed services.”
“It is my dream, my hope, and my vision, that we will very soon see Lone Star Air – THE WINGS OF LIBERIA, flying our flag in international skies, shining so brightly just how when we suswan (kru word meaning polish) our skin and be looking pawnWon (kru word meaning shining),” President Weah enthused.
It can be recalled that the Government of Liberia and Ghanaian carrier Goldstar Air (GSA) on October 3, 2020 signed a strategic partnership to revive the National Airline of the country. The New National carrier of the Republic of Liberia has been named and branded as LONE STAR AIR (Wings Of Liberia) and will initially be flying to eleven West African destinations from Monrovia, namely Accra, Abuja, Lagos, Abidjan, Freetown, Banjul, Conakry, Dakar, Ouagadougou, Bissau and Sao Tome.
The advent of a new national carrier is expected to spur the country’s development drive, while attracting more visitors to Liberia and providing more jobs for the population.
Some of the jobs which the youth will benefit are Pilots, Ground Service Crew, Service person in maintenance, Cabin crew, Counter Agents, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Country Managers, Stations Managers, Accountants, flight dispatch, Drivers, Marketing Personnel, Air Marshalls, Cargo Agents, Catering Services, Hoteliers, Fuel Suppliers, among others.
“Goldstar Air Management Services as part of the joint venture with the country’s government will ensure that the right goods, in the right quantities, in the right condition are delivered to the right place at the right time for the right cost, taking into account that our primary focus as a trend-setting airline will be to focus on top quality, short turnaround time and promoting highly competitive prices and ensuring excellent customer service,” a Goldstar release said at the time of the historic signing.
The Liberian Transport Minister, Mr. Samuel Wlue signed the MOU on behalf of the Government of Liberia, and the Executive Chairman/CEO of Goldstar Air, Mr Eric Alfred Bannerman signed on behalf of the airline at the President’s Office.