Arik Air on Wednesday suspended its flight services to its West African destinations as part of its safety measures following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The airline said in a statement that the temporary suspension of flights to all its West Coast destinations would become effective from March 23.
The affected routes, the airline said, are Accra in Ghana; Monrovia, in Liberia; and Dakar, Senegal.
In the past 24 hours, Africa has recorded 17 deaths from the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO), said Thursday.
While Africa was among the last continent to report cases of the virus, cases are beginning to spread throughout the continent as 33 countries have reported at least a case of the disease.
The UN health agency said so far, there has been 633 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 33 African countries leading to 17 deaths.
Meanwhile in the past 24 hours, the Gambia, Mauritius and Zambia have announced first cases.
Arik Air said it took the decision after a careful analysis of the novel COVID-19, which had been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, Roy Ilegbodu, said that the safety and well-being of the airline’s personnel and customers were paramount at this critical time, hence the decision to temporarily suspend flight services to the West Coast.
“We do not want to take chances and this is why we have taken this decision,” he said.
While apologising to its customers, the airline said it would cushion the effects of the travel ban on passengers whose travel plans may have been affected by the suspension of flights by ensuring prompt refund for tickets.