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Flydubai Juba service continues as violence grips South Sudan.

Dubai: Flydubai's four weekly services between Dubai and South Sudan remain unchanged as reports that ethnic-motivated killings have spread across the young African country.

"flydubai's flights to Juba are flying to schedule. We will continue to monitor the situation in Juba closely and will make any changes to the schedule as necessary," a flydubai spokesperson stated to Gulf News in an email.

Flydubai has operated the service to Jubai, the South Sudan capital, since April 2013.

Violence erupted in South Sudan on December 15 when President Salva Kiir accused his former Vice President Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denies the allegation.

Flydubai's schedule commercial flights in and out of Juba remain unchanged. However, Juba Airport reportedly closed for one day last week resulting in flight cancellations.

Foreign governments, including Britain, Australia, and the US are urging their citizens to leave South Sudan while commercial flights are still available.

Charter services

Charter airlines are also flying people out of the country as companies and foreign governments remove non-essential staff from their South Sudan-based operations.

Dubai-based charter-broker United Aviation Services (UAS) has had up to 15 requests this month from companies to transfer their employees out of the country. The flights, which have carried as few as five passengers and as many as 100, have predominantly flown to European destinations.

Jay Ammar Husary, the company's Senior Director of Operations told Gulf News there had been a few requests to fly passengers to destinations in the Middle East.

Other charter groups are not flying to South Sudan.

Insurance factor

A spokesperson for Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group told Gulf News that in recent weeks the group had not received any requests to fly people in or out of South Sudan and that it was unlikely to meet such requests due to "high risks and [the] insurance."

Airlines flying to war-affected countries face high insurance costs to cover the aircraft as well as passenger and crew liabilities.

Arun Kumar, Assistant General Manager at UAE-based Alliance Insurance told Gulf News that war risk insurance is calculated on the nature of aircraft involved, seating capacity, pilot and management history and the geographical area of the destination.

He said operators tend to opt for annual war-risk insurance and that because it is calculated on a case-by-case basis it would be rare for an airline to opt for war insurance for one or two flights to a high risk destination such as South Sudan.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Dec 27, 2013
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