One of Nigeria’s foremost airlines, Arik Air on Monday announced that it was suspending all flight operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone following the widespread of Ebola diseases in the two countries.
This is the first airline to suspend its flight operations here due to the increasing wave of the deadly Ebola virus.
This development is coming days after a Liberian national, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, died upon arrival in Lagos, Nigeria and confirmed to have been infected with the virus.
The airline company also advised that all inbound flights into Nigeria from any of the Ebola affected countries is immediately suspended by the Federal Government.
Mr. Sawyer flew into Nigeria aboard Asky Airline to attend an ECOWAS conference in Calabar, Cross River State, when he died upon arrival in Lagos.
Confirming the suspension of the flights Monday, Arik Air General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Ola Adebanji said “as a result of the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos, and involving a Liberian national who flew on a foreign (non-Nigerian) based airline from Monrovia via Lome (Togo) into the city last week, Arik Air will be suspending operations into Monrovia (Liberia) and Freetown (Sierra Leone) effective July 28, 2014.”
“The suspension will be in force until further notice. This decision is a precautionary measure aimed at safeguarding the precious lives of Nigerians. Arik Air is taking this important measure as a concerned corporate citizen bearing interest of Nigerians at heart.“
According to him, the airline acknowledged the steps the Federal Government of Nigeria was currently taking to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, saying “however, we feel compelled to take the decision to immediately suspend services into the two Ebola affected countries due to our interest in the wellbeing of Nigerians.”