Move threatens to further isolate countries plagued by Ebola outbreak.
NEW YORK – Air France pilots have now joined flight attendants in demanding the right to refuse to fly to destinations in the West African countries affected by Ebola.
The move threatens to further isolate three nations most ravaged by the disease – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
According to Le Monde in Paris, François Hamant, a representative of the pilot’s union in France, filed an official government complaint Wednesday. It demands a commitment from Air France management that any pilot or flight attendant not wanting to fly to the Ebola-impacted West African nations can refuse to make the flight without suffering any adverse consequences, either financial or disciplinary.
Julien Duboz, spokesman for the Syndicat des Pilotes d’Air France, the French union of airline pilots, confirmed to Le Monde that while the union is aware of some Air France pilots who have refused to fly to West Africa, the defections are “rare.”
As WND reported, the World Health Organization warned Monday that Ebola is “expanding exponentially” in West Africa, with the problem so severe in Liberia that many thousands of new cases expected in country over the coming three weeks.
Last Friday, WHO reported in Geneva that one in 10 health-care workers treating Ebola patients in West Africa has become infected with the disease.
Nevertheless, WHO has repeatedly issued advisories contending airline pilots and crews are protected by rigorous screening to keep from flights any passenger showing symptoms of Ebola.