Nigeria: ASKY Airlines urges NCAA to reconsider suspension order over Ebola

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Director-General of ASKY Airlines, Mr. Yissehak Zewoldi, on Wednesday appealed to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to reconsider its suspension order on the airline’s operations into the country.

He told aviation correspondents here that the travelling restriction had been affecting passengers within the region.

PANA recalls that the NCAA suspended ASKY Airlines’ flight operations  following the death of Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian, last Friday in Lagos.

Sawyer, ferried to Nigeria by the airline, was infected with the Ebola virus disease which led to his death.

Zewoldi said that the airline had been highly concerned and had taken measures to avoid the spread of the virus since its initial outbreak  in Conakry, Guinea, in February.

He said that he had written twice in the past  to the Director-General of agency to inform him of the measures the airline had taken so far.

Zewoldi noted that the airline was fully committed to working closely with all the relevant authorities and organisations in the fight against the spread of the disease.

According to him, ASKY is determined to keep its passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time, adding that the carrier is monitoring the situation closely and will issue updates as the situation changes.

"ASKY has suspended all its flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia and also stopped uplifting food from Conakry, Guinea,'' he said.

He, however, refused to disclose how much the airline had lost since it was suspended.

However,  Capt. Dele Ore, President of the Aviation Round Table (ART), said that the safety and security of passengers rather than the economic loss to the airline should be the major concern now.

Ore noted that the airline would have lost some substantial amount of money following its suspension but commended the aviation regulatory agency for taking the precautionary measure on the airline.

"It is very appropriate that the authority takes a proactive decision. This will be the first time the regulatory agency will act fast, we hope the NCAA will have the manpower to continue the work,'' he said.

He advised the NCAA to ensure that  all in-bound passengers from the Ebola virus concerned countries were quarantined  for two or three weeks.
-0- PANA AD/VAO 30July2014

30 july 2014 14:19:59

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