Air France Announces The Suspension Of Flights To Niger & Mali

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Air France, the national airline of France, has decided to temporarily suspend all flights to and from Bamako in Mali and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The suspension is expected to be in effect until August 11.

The announcement was made by the company on Monday, as reported by Reuters. Interestingly, this decision coincides with Niger’s military rulers shutting down the country’s airspace, citing concerns over the “threat of intervention,” just one day prior.

“The closure of Niger’s airspace dramatically widens the area over which most commercial flights between Europe and southern Africa cannot fly,” FlightRadar24, a flight tracking service, said in a blog post.

“Flights must already take a detour of sorts around Libya and Sudan.

“With Niger’s airspace now off limits as well, airlines flying between Europe and southern Africa will need to reroute and add 1000 or more extra kilometers to their flights, increasing the amount of fuel each flight will need and the flight time.”

Air France spokesperson said that the airline expected longer flight times from sub-Saharan hub airports and that flights between Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and Accra in Ghana were set to operate non-stop.

A spokesperson for Brussels Airlines added that flight times could be between an hour and a half to three and a half hours longer for rerouted flights and could include a fuel stop, Reuters said.

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