Arik Air has said it would suspend flight operations to Monrovia in Liberia and Freetown in Sierra-Leone on Monday following the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos.
This is disclosed in a statement issued and signed by the airline’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Ola Adebanji, in Lagos on Sunday.
It said the suspension would be in force until further notice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos involved a Liberian national.
He had flown into Lagos on a foreign airline from Monrovia via Lome in Togo last week.
The statement said the flights suspension decision was a precautionary measure aimed at safeguarding the lives of Nigerians.
“We are taking this important step as a concerned corporate citizen, bearing the interest of Nigerians at heart.
“We acknowledge the steps the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently undertaking to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus,” it said.
The statement said the airline felt compelled to take the business decision to immediately suspend flight services into the two Ebola virus-affected countries.
It said this was due to its interest in the well-being of Nigerians.
“At the early stages of the virus development across West Africa, the Gambian Government took the proactive decision to stop airlines, including Arik Air, from bringing in-bound passengers from Monrovia, Conakry in Guinea and Freetown into Banjul in Gambia.
“Hence, in line with the actions taken by the Gambian Government, we trust and are confident that the FGN shall take all steps necessary to control and curtail the spread of the virus,” the statement said.
It advised that all in-bound flights into Nigeria, which originate from any of the Ebola-affected countries, be immediately suspended.
“Our core vision and purpose are to provide world-class experiences and services which are safe, reliable and contribute towards both improved user quality of life as well as the elevation of Nigeria’s global standing,” the airline said.
However, Arik assured customers and Nigerians that their continued safety would always be at the forefront of all business decisions taken by the airline management.(NAN)