Delta was scheduled to launch service between Atlanta and Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday but, in what I believe is an unprecidented move, was told by the Department of Homeland Security that it would not approve the airline’s request to fly between the two cities. As you might imagine, Delta had scheduled some pomp and circumstance involving VIPs for the inaugural flight – those festivities were (obviously, duh) canceled, and the carrier had to re-book hundreds, if not thousands of people who had already purchased tickets between the two cities.
Officially, Homeland Security said that it needed more time to approve the flights, but based on Delta’s announcement that the route has been postponed “indefinitely” I wouldn’t hold your breath to see the launch.
As collateral damage (and as predicted by the OTR two weeks ago), the airline also “indefinitely” postponed the launch of flights to Monrovia, Liberia. Sadly, this pretty much marks the end of Delta’s extremely interesting experiment to launch service to Africa through Cape Verde. Proposed flights to Liberia, Angola, Equitorial Guinea, Kenya, and Abuja (NIgeria) have now all been canceled. It’s a shame, since this would have marked a US airline’s largest presence in Africa since Pan Am.