|Back To Archives|
|Delta Airlines Apologizes For Degrading V.P. Boakai|
|Published on June 21, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
Authorities of the American Airlines, Delta, have apologized to the Liberian Government after one of its employees reportedly subjected Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai to humiliation last Wednesday at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is said to have been “perturbed” over the situation, spokesman Cyrus Wleh Badio told his regular weekly Executive Mansion press briefing Monday.
The President was briefed about the incident involving the Vice President. She's perturbed about that…” Mr. Badio said, before breaking the news: “As a matter fact, the Delta authorities have formally apologized to the government following the incident.”
Mr. Badio disclosed that “measures are now being put into place to ensure that we do not have a recurrence of what transpired when the Vice President was about to onboard the flight.”
According to reports, a personnel of the International Security Defense System (ISDS) providing profiling services for Delta Airlines reportedly single-handedly spearheaded a campaign of gross disrespect to the Vice President, subjecting him to search in what aviation regulators have said is a clear violation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Doc. 8973 Chapter 4.4 “Special Category Passengers” and the National Civil Aviation Security Program Chapter VII, Section 4.3 “Exemption from Screening”.
The regulations states that: “Specific exemptions from the screening process are extended to the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representative, Chief Justice, President Pro-Temp of the Senate, visiting Heads of State and other listed persons when traveling on official business but constituted indignation and gross insubordination.”
But the ISDS personnel identified as Jorge Vargas reportedly insisted that the Vice President submits himself to screening.
Vice President Boakai was on his way to the U.S. state of Minnesota to hold town hall sessions with Diaspora-based Liberians about developments back in Liberia.
The incident caused embarrassment to the Vice President and his delegation, and it took the intervention of the Liberia Civil Aviation Boss Richelieu Williams to put the situation under control, according to report.
Reports claimed that Mr. Vagas refused to show up when he was summoned by Mr. Williams on grounds that “someone from the President's Office told him to disregard the directive of LCAA.”
The Executive Mansion has not commented on the claim, but it said the President regrets the situation was been perturbed upon being briefed.
Delta was granted approval by the U.S. Government in 2010 for flights between Atlanta and Monrovia. The flights began on Sept. 4, 2010 with a 215-seat Boeing 767-300ER jet taking passengers from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Monrovia with a stop in Accra, Ghana.