There have been a number of airlines to ban flights to West Africa. However, until now, all of these airlines were based on Africa. Emirates Airline recently made a public statement that it has officially suspended all flights to areas in West Africa that are infected with the Ebola virus. The airline said that this is its call because it wants to do its part to prevent the spread of the virus.
More airlines are likely to cancel flights to West Africa now that Emirates has. After all, this has been the worst Ebola virus outbreak in history. The virus had killed 729 people at the time of this writing. These deaths have occurred in four countries. It is very likely that even more people will die from the virus before it reaches its end. This includes most of the people who have already been infected. Nearly 90 percent of the people who catch the Ebola virus die. To make matters worse, it can take up to two weeks before people become aware that they have it.
The World Health Organization had declared this the worst case of Ebola outbreak weeks ago. It said that it has been tracking the virus for nearly four decades and has never seen an outbreak like it.
When speaking about the cancellation of flights, Emirates said that it’s sorry for any kind of inconvenience that these cancellations have caused customers. However, the airline has to put the safety and health of the passengers and its workers first. This is something that the airline cannot do if it continues to serve places in West Africa. It will be monitoring the situation there closely, and more cancellations might be on the way as it follows updates from international health authorities and governments around the world.
WHO and the International Air Transport Association have issued a number of guidelines that airlines should follow. These guidelines caused Emirates to simply stop flights to this area altogether. Passengers who are flying with airlines that are still serving this region are being screened before they are allowed to board the planes. If there is any sign of the illness, they are not allowed to board. Of course, this does not stop the spread of the disease. As stated before, the illness can take up to two weeks before symptoms are noticed.
There is no telling just how long it will take before Emirates starts flights to this area again. Hopefully, this virus will be brought under control soon so that airlines can resume flights to West Africa without fear of spreading this deadly virus.