The French national carrier, Air France, has suspended flights to and from Mali and Burkina Faso.
Air France made this known on Monday after the Niger Republic’s junta announced the closure of its airspace following the threat of intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
DAILY POST reports that ECOWAS, a regional political and economic union of 15 countries located in West Africa, has threatened to restore democracy in Niger by force.
Reuters reports that an Air France spokesperson said that the airline expected longer flight times from sub-Saharan hub airports as flights between Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, and Accra, Ghana, are set to operate non-stop.
Similarly, a flight tracking service, FlightRadar24, stated on its Twitter handle on Monday: “The closure of Niger’s airspace adds to the difficulties faced by airlines flying between Europe and southern Africa, adding 1000 kilometres and more than an hour of flight time to some routes.”