Korean Air Plans to Halt Flights to Kenya Over Ebola Fears

Thursday, August 14, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Eric Ombok
Aug 14, 2014

Korean Air Lines Co. (003490) will suspend flights to Nairobi to help prevent the Ebola virus from spreading, becoming the first airline to pull out of an East African destination thousands of miles from the deadly outbreak.

Korean Air will scrap flights to Kenya’s capital starting Aug. 20, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. While Nairobi is far from the region with Ebola cases, the capital city is a hub for flights to other continents.

The World Health Organization considers Kenya and many other African countries as being at high-risk for Ebola transmission, the group said in a statement. The current outbreak has killed more than 1,000 people and is centered in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Kenya Airways Ltd., sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest airline, is reviewing information and advice from the International Air Transport Association, the World Health Organization and Kenya’s Ministry of Health regarding flights into Ebola-affected regions of West Africa. The airline said it will make an announcement today.

British Airways and Emirates have canceled some routes to countries where the disease is present, while most airlines have responded by stepping up medical screening of passengers.

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