Airline BMED has said that it will alter the schedule of its flights from Sierra Leone to London Heathrow.

Now, flights will leave Freetown two and a half hours earlier than originally scheduled - departing at 22:00 local time on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Previously, flights had left Sierra Leone at 00:45 local time on Tuesdays and Fridays and at 00:35 on Sundays.

The flights will still stop at Dakar in Senegal, now waiting three hours before departing the west African hub in their regular slot.

The airline said that the changes were due to "operational reasons" and BMED said that the alterations would remain in place for the foreseeable future.

A statement on the airline's website said passengers who miss their flight or otherwise want to change their travel plans can rebook on another BMED flight to their original destination provided seats are available.

Customers who want to change their booking must do so within two weeks of the original flight and travel will have to be completed within ticket validity or within three months from the original flight.

Recently BMED was acquired by bmi. Its flights will be integrated into existing bmi schedules from the end of October.

BMED currently flies to a number of African states, including Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

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(Tony Hill and Helen Gillilan)

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BMED Alters Sierra Leone Schedule