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    Air Cote d’Ivore suspends flights to Freetown

    APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

    Air Cote d’Ivoire has suspended its operation in Sierra Leone over a court ruling forcing it to pay compensation to an aggrieved passenger over lost luggage.

    The airline said in a statement seen by APA on Wednesday that effective January 8 it has suspended its flights to Freetown, following the closure of its Sierra Leone office earlier in December.

    Air Cote d’Ivore links Freetown to 17 cities in Africa, mostly via the Ivorian capital, Abidjan.

    It flies to the Sierra Leonean capital twice a week.

    In its statement, the management of the airline said the decision to shut down stemmed from the complaint from a Sierra Leonean passenger who went to court over his lost baggage.

    The airline was ordered by the court to pay the passenger $11, 000 as compensation.

    The airline said the court’s ruling contravened international aviation conventions.

    The passenger had traveled from Lagos in Nigeria with car spare parts and claimed some of his consignment had gone missing.

    But the airline claims the passenger didn’t declare the luggage missing at the point of collection, according to its regulations.

    “Pursuant to the court’s decision dated 27th November, Air Cote d’Ivore was ordered to pay $11, 000, which far exceeds the maximum compensation amount for any damaged luggage as defined in the international conventions in force,” the airline’s management said.

    It added: “Our airline apologises for all the inconveniences suffered by its clients and ensures that all efforts are being made to restore normalcy in the earliest possible time.”


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