Kenya Airways, will from Tuesday August 19, 2014, temporarily suspended all commercial flight operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone following advice from the East-African country’s health ministry over the spread of the Ebola virus in the two countries.
The airline will, however, continue operating all its scheduled flights to Nigeria and Ghana.
Kenya Airways in a statement signed by the Group Managing Director and CEO, Titus Naikuni, said the decision “is based on the situation risk assessment by Kenya’s Ministry of Health. Kenya Airways wishes to confirm that we will comply with the advice to suspend our commercial flight operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone temporarily.”
“The provision of air transport services during such critical moments remains a crucial component of the outbreak containment and overall management. At the height of the Ebola outbreak, Kenya Airways has remained a key air transport solutions provider. We have transported medical staff, supplies and equipment to facilitate the management of the outbreak.
I take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued confidence in our services, and our staff for their passion and dedication,” the statement said.
The airline is set to provide a full refund on all tickets booked and paid for that will be affected. “To our esteemed guests who are booked on the suspended flights, we wish to express our sincere regrets for disrupting your travel plans. We further wish to confirm that we shall be providing for a full refund of all tickets earlier booked and paid for prior to this suspension.”
The outbreak of the virus in West Africa was transmitted to people from wild animals, and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Fruit-bats are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care, and no licenced specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that 1,013 people have died as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the West Africa sub-region.
The WHO says there is no licenced vaccine for Ebola available. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use.