Published on : Monday, August 4, 2014
As the deadly Ebola virus continues to spread in the Western Africa region, the Emirates becomes the first international airline to suspend all flights to Guinea in West Africa to prevent further spread of the deadly virus. The Dubai-based airline is the first major international airline outside Africa to impose a ban in the response to the Ebola outbreak which has already claimed more than 700 lives in four countries.
Described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as by far the worst outbreak ever recorded in the disease’s four-decade history, it originated in Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. A further case was reported after a man flew to Lagos, Nigeria – sparking fears the disease would be spread further by international air travel. Emirates said its flights to Conakry, the capital of Guinea, were suspended from Saturday until further notice.
The airline, which does not operate services to Sierra Leone or Liberia, said it would continue to provide flights to Dakar in Senegal. It said further decisions on West Africa would be “guided by the advice and updates from the government and international health authorities”.
The Emirates decides to ban flights to Africa following the guidelines from both the WHO and International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has also seen several major airlines and airports begin screening passengers for any suspected infection.