• France's news in English

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available