Brussels Airlines has followed up its heroic effort during the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa with a campaign to help the continent recover from the lingering and devastating economic
impact of the epidemic.
Belgium-based Brussels Airlines launched an initiative called Africa is not Ebola— www.africaisnotebola.
com—in February at the residence of the Belgian
Ambassador in Washington DC.
Te airline pointed out that while the virus was
present in only three of 56 African countries, tourists,
investors, and consumers still avoid regions even far
from the afected countries. March and April is peak
tourist season, so time is rapidly running out to make
up even partially some of the terrible
economic losses of 2014. Te econo-
mies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone, in particular, remain crippled
even as transmission rates in all three
countries show signifcant signs of
slowing. Te World Bank estimates
that they will lose at least $1.6 billion
in forgone economic growth this year.
Te economic losses for West Africa as
a region could total $25 billion.
Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard
Gustin said the reason he is committed to this cause is because, as bad
as the epidemic was, the far more
dangerous threat to Africa is the international hysteria crisis that followed.
“Te Ebola crisis has to be solved by
Africans supported by Americans and
Europeans. Te hysteria crisis has to
be solved by Americans and Europeans supported by Africans,” he said.
Brussels Airlines has already
Brussels Airlines launches “Africa is not
Ebola” campaign, maintains a vital air
bridge and a proud airline tradition.
BY KAREN WALKER