Ebola outbreak: Frontier jet made 5 flights before being taken out of service

US-based Frontier Airlines said Wednesday it thoroughly cleaned a plane that carried a Dallas health care worker the day before an Ebola diagnosis.
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Denver-based Frontier issued a statement in response to news that the unidentified health care worker flew Monday on Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth with 132 passengers.

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The airline said it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contact all the passengers on the flight.

The passenger “exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on Flight 1143, according to the crew,” Frontier said.

The Airbus A320 that carried the health care worker was put away for the night on Monday after it carried the woman from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth. But Tuesday morning the plane was flown back to Cleveland and then to Fort Lauderdale, back to Cleveland and then to Atlanta and finally back again to Cleveland, according to Daniel Baker, the chief executive of the flight monitoring siteFlightaware杭州龙凤论坛m.

He said his data does not include any passenger manifests, so he cannot tell how many total passengers flew on the plane Tuesday.

In a statement, Frontier Airlines said the plane was taken out of service on Tuesday after the carrier was notified by the CDC that the aircraft had carried an Ebola patient.

The health care worker also had flown to Cleveland from Dallas three days earlier on Frontier Flight 1142, the airline reported.

In response to the news that another Ebola patient flew on a commercial flight, the union that represents 60,000 flight attendants on 19 airlines is asking the CDC to monitor and care for the four flight attendants who were on flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth.

The Association of Flight Attendants “will continue to press that crew members are regularly monitored and provided with any additional resources that may be required,” the group said.

The Ebola scare prompted the union last week to call for better measures to protect flight attendants from exposure to the deadly disease.

The group’s international president, Sara Nelson, suggested that flight attendants are being asked to do too much in the fight against Ebola.

“We are not, however, professional health care providers and our members have neither the extensive training nor the specialised personal protective equipment required for handling an Ebola patient,” she said in a statement.

Earlier this month, United Airlines was rushing to contact passengers who flew on two flights that carried a Liberian man infected with Ebola from Brussels to Washington, DC, and then to Dallas.

The Ebola-stricken health care worker who flew on Frontier had been treating the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who has since died.

Airline-industry stock prices have taken a beating in recent weeks, with some analysts blaming the Ebola scare.

On Wednesday, stocks of Delta Air Lines and American Airlinesfell more than 6 per cent in early trading before partially recovering. With less than 90 minutes remaining in the regular trading session, the two stocks were each down about 2 percent from Tuesday’s closes. Frontier is privately held.