• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Air France staff object to flying to Ebola countries

The Local · 19 Aug 2014, 14:31

Published: 19 Aug 2014 14:31 GMT+02:00

A union representing Air France staff has launched a petition to try to persuade company chiefs to stop flying to Guinea and Sierra Leone until the Ebola crisis is under control.

The two countries are heavily affected by the epidemic, that has killed over 1,200 people, and staff fear their lives are in danger each time they touch down in those countries.

“We are afraid,” an employee of the airline told Le Parisien newspaper. “We know that this is a risky career – countries at war, dictators, ok, but this [Ebola]… It’s different”.

The employee is not the only member of staff fearful that they could be affected by Ebola- with over 700 having signed the petition in just a matter of days.

British Airways and Emirates have already ditched their services to Ebola hit countries, but so far Air France has decided not to follow suit and still serves Conakry in Guinea and Freetown in Sierra Leone.

In July however the French flagship carrier did give staff the right to refuse to work on flights bound for Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Citing advice from the World Health Organisation that says aviation constitutes a “low risk” for Ebola transmission the International Air Transport Association has asked carriers to continue flying to affected countries.

Air France has also stated it has a plan in place to do everything to stop the spread of Ebola.

Crew have received instructions on how to isolate a person who is suspected of being infected, for example reserving a toilet for that person, among other measures.

The airline has also ensured its flights are equipped with face masks, rubber gloves and alcohol-gel. Air France also keeps a record of anyone on the flight who might have been in contact with an infected person.

The company says the temperatures of all passengers are taken at the time of boarding to determine whether they have a fever.

Since Ebola is not an airborne virus, but requires the direct contact of body fluids, such as sweat, blood, saliva and vomit, the chances of a transmission of Ebola between passengers are low

But Patrick Henry-Haye, who is behind the petition told Le Figaro newspaper: "We know full well  that people with the virus can take up to three weeks to develop the symptoms," he said

Story continues below…

SEE ALSO: What are the chances of Ebola coming to France

(Photo: AFP)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
15-year-old French student charged over attack threat
Paris Gendarmes during a previous terror-related arrest in May 2016. File photo: Matthieu Alexandre/AFP

A 15-year-old high school student was charged and held Friday on suspicion of wanting to commit a terror attack.

Paris luxury hotel told to pay up after guest molests cleaner

A cleaner who was molested at a Paris luxury hotel by a Qatari guest has reportedly been awarded €57,000.

Frenchman leading Brexit negotiations starts new job
Photo: AFP

Frenchman Michel Barnier officially starts work as the European Commission's Brexit negotiator on Saturday in an appointment that British media called a "declaration of war".

VIDEO: Frenchman goes on iPhone-smashing rampage
Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Meet France's angriest Apple customer.

Nuit Blanche: Get set for an all-night party in Paris
Photo: La Nuit Blanche

Will YOU be heading down to the Seine on Saturday?

France told there's no more money for TGVs
High speed TGV trains parked in Lille. Photo: AFP

A report from the French senate has recommended that three planned high speed rail networks be scrapped.

Frenchman surfs again after shark bites off his leg
All photos: AFP

Meet the amputee Frenchman who is surfing again he was attacked by a shark.

Paris motorists to fund city's public transport system
Photo: AFP

Motorists in the Ile-de-France region will be hit by a tax rise in order to finance the city's trains and buses.

More French women becoming mothers after 40
French mums are getting older. File photo: Pexels

French mums are getting older, but the overall birthrate has fallen.

Paris police bust high-rolling gang of pram thieves
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

A gang of thieves has been caught after they pinched an estimated €100,000 worth of prams.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
It's official: France finally gets its new map
National
VIDEOS: France's raunchiest TV commercials of all time
Sexism at the wheel: France wants more women drivers
Society
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Society
Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Society
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Education
Why are foreign students in France 'Europe's unhappiest'?
Education
The troubles with French universities laid bare
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
2,735
jobs available