A BRITISH Airways flight attendant has died of malaria after a long-haul flight to Africa.
The woman, who has not been named, showed signs of the illness after working on a fight from Heathrow to Ghana.
British Airways has launched an internal investigation to find out how the woman contracted the illness which is passed on from mosquito bites.
A source said the news came as a shock and was devastating for the flight attendant’s family and friends.
“There is huge concern about cabin and flight crew flying to Ghana after such a tragic incident,” the source told the Mirror.
“We are hoping that all safety measures are now taken to makes sure it does not happen again.”
The airline refused to discuss exact details of the tragedy, although it did say there were measures in place to protect its staff working in the West African country.
“We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of our colleague,” a spokeswoman said.
“The safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority.
“Cabin crew are given top strength repellent and fully briefed every time they fly into a malarial area in order to give them the best protection.”
“Medication is available to those who wish to use it, either before they fly or when they are at their destination.
“We check our hotels and transportation to minimise the chance of contact with mosquitos.”
The tragic event comes six years after another British Airways cabin crew member died of malaria after working on a flight from Heathrow to Ghana.