Two of the Middle East’s largest airlines will resume some flight operations next week to help stranded European passengers get home.
A limited range of Emirates flights will be available from its Dubai base to several European destinations, including London, starting Monday (6 April).
Emirates will operate four times a week to Heathrow, and three flights a week to Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich and Brussels, the airline announced late on Thursday (2 April).
The flights will only carry outbound passengers from the UAE returning to Europe, although they will ship cargo in both directions to support trade and conveyance of “essential goods”.
Passengers will be subject to any entry requirements at their destination, and are advised to check before they travel.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates, said the flights would be welcomed by travellers “seeking to return home to their countries and families” and thanked the UAE government and partners for helping the carrier obtain the necessary flight approvals.
Al Maktoum added while Emirates hoped to resume full operations as soon as possible, it acknowledged the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. “We maintain close contact with all authorities for latest updates,” he said.
“We continuously review the situation and will announce any additional services as they become available.”
The routes from Dubai will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering business and economy classes, and will undergo enhanced cleaning and disinfection in Dubai after every journey.
Etihad, meanwhile, is expected to resume flying to Amsterdam from its Abu Dhabi base, as well as several other destinations including Seoul, Melbourne, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta.
The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority has mandated both carriers’ flights are solely for repatriation purposes.