French flag carrier Air France said it was suspending its flights to Sierra Leone from Thursday, amid an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.
Wednesday’s announcement followed a recommendation from French authorities to “temporarily suspend” its services to Freetown given the way the epidemic was developing and the state of the health systems.
British Airways has temporarily suspended its flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia for the rest of the month amid an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 880 people.
The airline confirmed Wednesday that it is grounding the flights until 31 August because of ‘the deteriorating public health situation in both countries.’
A British Airways spokesman said: ‘The safety of our customers, crew and ground teams is always our top priority and we will keep the route under constant review in the coming weeks.
Airlines have cancelled more than a third of international flights to three west African countries over fears that an outbreak of the Ebola virus could spread, as more African countries introduce measures to block visitors from affected areas.
Of 590 monthly flights scheduled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, 216 have been cancelled. Although 14 cases of Ebola have been reported in Nigeria, flights to and from the country have not been affected.
African countries are rolling out measures to stop Ebola from spreading: South Africa on Thursday banned travellers from Ebola-stricken countries from entering the country, and on Friday Senegal announced it was closing its border with Guinea as a preventative measure, while Chad said it had closed its border with Nigeria.