Brussels Airlines launches awareness campaign “Africa Is Not Ebola”
Brussels Airlines is the only European airline still operating scheduled flights to the three Ebola stricken countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Last month the airline’s CEO, Bernard Gustin, launched an initiative called “Africa Is Not Ebola” in Washington D.C. to help clear the misconceptions about Africa so the continent can hopefully start to recover from the lingering and devastating economic impact of the epidemic.
An important air bridge
Since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak, Brussels Airlines has always maintained the air bridge between the three Ebola-stricken countries and the rest of the world. The airline continued a twice-weekly Airbus A330 service, providing a crucial conduit for medical equipment and health workers.
Between May 2014 and January 2015, Brussels Airlines flew about 60,000 passengers to and from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, many of them health workers, especially from Médecins sans Frontières.
Brussels Airlines also transported more than 1,800 tonnes of cargo, including tents, medical supplies and other essential equipment to fight the epidemic. On January 23, Brussels Airlines transported the first box of GSK/NIH vaccinations to Monrovia. They are now being used in a phase III clinical trial.
Africa Is Not Ebola: It has much more to offer
Although only three countries out of a total of 56 African countries are affected by the Ebola-virus, the epidemic has had a devastating economic impact on the entire continent. Tourists, investors and consumers avoid regions even far away from the affected countries.
Brussels Airlines wants to raise awareness about the potential of Africa and the misconceptions around the epidemic. Therefore it has launched “Africa Is Not Ebola”, an awareness campaign to encourage the world not to give up on this stunning continent and to show that Africa is not defined by the Ebola epidemic. The initiative is supported by the International Rescue Committee.
A long tradition of flying to Africa
With over 90 years of aviation experience on the continent, Brussels Airlines considers Africa its second home. This is due to its Sabena heritage, the predecessor of the Belgian based airline. Brussels Airlines operates regular flights to 19 African destinations out of Brussels Airport, including daily flights to Dakar and Kinshasa. The flights are operated with Airbus A330-200 and -300 aircraft.
Brussels Airlines continues operating flights to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to maintain the air bridge between these countries and the world and will put all its efforts into helping to rebuild the image of Africa.
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