Plane that carried Ebola-infected nurse at DIA

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The Frontier Airlines jet (tail number N220FR) that had a passenger with Ebola is back in Denver where it remains out of service. Photo credit: Daryl Orr

The Frontier Airlines jet (tail number N220FR) that had a passenger with Ebola is back in Denver where it remains out of service. Photo credit: Daryl Orr

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DENVER -- The Ebola crisis is hitting home as the Frontier Airlines plane carrying a Texas nurse who was later diagnosed with the virus is in Denver.

Frontier is doing everything it can to calm nerves at Denver International Airport. The airplane is far away from the terminal, sitting in a terminal, and it won't be back in service for a few days.

Amber Vinson, the second nurse to contract Ebola after treating Thomas Duncan, traveled on the plane from Dallas to Cleveland. The plane arrived at DIA on Wednesday night without any passengers and was taken to the hangar.

With safety in mind, the plane will receive a fourth cleaning since Vinson flew on it. According, to the airline, crews will go beyond recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although it's not required, crews will remove seat covers and carpeting near Vinson's seat. The plane's environmental filters will also be changed.

In a statement to employees, Frontier CEO David Siegel said, "Since we were notified by the CDC, we’ve proactively placed six crew members (two pilots; four flight attendants) on paid leave for 21 days out of an abundance of caution as the safety and security of our employees is our number one priority. This was over and above CDC guidance that stated that our flight crews were safe to fly."

DIA and other major airlines are not doing anything different unless the CDC recommends it. Infectious disease expert Thomas Campbell says that should not worry travelers.

"It's not transmitted by casual contact. Not transmitted in the air," he said. "You're much more likely to die in a car accident driving to the airport than you are to contract Ebola."

Vinson traveled on the plane Monday. She's currently in Atlanta recovering at a hospital. The CDC is reaching out to the people who flew on the flight with Vinson.

 

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