Kenya Airways to maintain W. Africa flights despite Ebola

Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways announced Friday it will maintain its flights to and from West African countries in spite of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the region.

Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways announced Friday it will maintain its flights to and from West African countries in spite of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the region.

NAIROBI – Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways announced Friday it will maintain its flights to and from West African countries in spite of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the region.

"Arising from the unfortunate Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa, Kenya Airways is still flying to and from several destinations in that region,” the airline’s CEO Titus Naikuni said in a statement.

Naikuni said that the decision to maintain the operations came following assurances from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an association representing and serving the airline industry worldwide and the Word Health Organization (WHO).

“According to information availed to us from IATA and collaborated by local experts, the WHO, current risk assessment for the spread of Ebola by air travel and transport is minimal and hence not recommending any travel restrictions or the closure of borders at points of entry,” the statement said.

“Withdrawing our flights to these key destinations given the safeguards already placed by the respective governments and global health authorities would be [tantamount to] a corporate placement of unnecessary travel advisory,” it added.

However, Naikuni emphasized that Kenya Airways will continue to maintain precautionary measures, including educating all staff on Ebola, how it is transmitted and how to keep safe.

Kenya Airways operates 44 weekly flights to the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, which have been hard hit by the Ebola virus.

The WHO has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an "international public health emergency" as the virus reportedly continues to spread through the region.

According to the latest WHO report, Ebola has killed 932 people in West Africa.

The Ebola virus, a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals and also spreads through contact with the body fluids of an infected person or someone who has died of the disease.

Medical doctors say common symptoms of Ebola include high fever and headaches, followed by bleeding from openings in the body.

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