Gov’t lifts Ebola scare air travel ban


On 10 April 2014, the Gambia government ordered airplanes not to pick up passengers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as inbound passengers to Banjul following the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea and suspected cases in the other two countries. 

Consequently, The Gambia based Gambia Bird Airline had to postpone the launch of its flights to Conakry. Justifying the decision, CEO Thomas Wazinski stated: “Our primary consideration is the health and well-being of our customers and staff. We also want to help ensure that this disease does not spread to neighbouring countries and it would not be right to launch new services to Conakry whilst this increased risk continues. Once the situation is contained, we will resume our plans and we look forward to welcoming customers aboard the new services at that time. We will continue to liaise with the authorities in Conakry and will advise of the revised launch date as soon as possible. In the meantime, passengers already booked on flights to Conakry will be fully refunded.” 

The Sierra Leone government had protested to Banjul arguing that there were no cases of Ebola in the country and that the ban on Banjul-bound passengers was causing severe disruption to trade and movement of its nationals.