In August 2014, Kenya Airways cancelled all flights to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea after the Kenyan government restricted travel to those countries because it said that the ebola threat was underestimated. Kenya has now announced that it will lift the ban in the next three weeks.
Back in August an estimated 1,145 people had died in the affected countries and other airlines including Air Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria’s Arik Air, Togo’s ASKY Airlines, British Airways, Emirates Airlines had also cancelled flights although the WHO had advised otherwise.
Speaking to the Star Newspaper, at the opening of a neo-natal unit at Kenyatta National Hospital last week, Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that the travel ban will be lifted as Kenyan medical personnel working in the region have reported improvements in the fight against ebola.
A journey from Accra to Freetown that once took just 2hrs on Kenya Airways is now a day long ordeal via Abidjan with stops in Monrovia, and then Freetown. Air Ivoire, is currently the only African airline flying to and from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
A return trip to Sierra Leone from Ghana that once averaged $700 is now $1500 on AirIvoire. Despite these ridiculous price increases Freetown’s regional travelers would have been be stranded had it not been for the Ivoirian President’s acceptance to allow Air Ivoire to fly there.
The Gambia also just opened its borders to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea after having closed sea, land, and air as early as May 2014.