Emirates will temporarily suspend most of its passenger flights from 25 March but will continue to fly to the UK, the carrier has clarified in an updated statement.
In a new communication, Emirates Group said it has received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers and therefore its airline will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to a number of countries "until further notice” providing “borders remain open and there is demand”.
The airline said it aimed to maintain certain passenger flights for “as long as feasible” to help travellers return home amid “an increasing number of travel bans, restrictions, and country lockdowns across the world”.
Emirates named the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, USA and Canada as destinations it will continue to operate to.
“The situation remains dynamic, and travellers can check flight status on emirates.com,” the carrier said.
Emirates Group chair and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said “the world has literally gone into quarantine due to the Covid-19 outbreak”.
“This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint,” he said.
“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders and travel confidence returns. By Wednesday, 25 March, although we will still operate cargo flights which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended most of its passenger operations.
“We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.”
Earlier the group outlined a number of cost-saving measures to help it through the coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a slump in customer demand.