Flights “must return” to Ebola-hit countries

BA had “no scientific justification” to stop flights
Airlines should restart flights to the countries in West Africa hit by Ebola. This was the verdict of a parliamentary committee in the UK, which argued that British Airways’ decision to stop flights had “no scientific justification” – and probably increased the costs of fighting the outbreak.
Airlines like BA and Emirates halted flights last August, even though World Health Organisation advisers concluded in September that there should be no general ban on travel or trade with Ebola-hit areas. Such a ban, they argued, hampers efforts to deal with the disease, making it harder for experts to reach victims. Almost 9,000 people have died of Ebola, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, out of more than 22,400 known cases.
“The revocation of licenses to carriers to fly direct to the region was a political decision with no basis in science and was inconsistent with World Health Organisation advice,” the UK’s Public Accounts Committee, which analyses government spending, said in its report. “[Direct flights] should be restored as soon as possible.”
But BA said it would keep the ban in place. “We will keep the routes under review in the coming months,” it said.


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