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Inayat-ur-Rahman, Senior Business Reporter / Agencies
Emirates and Etihad Airways will resume some transit flights after the UAE lifted a suspension on services where passengers stop off in the country to change planes, or for refuelling.
The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers, more than two months after the country halted all passenger flights in March as it introduced drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Following the UAE government’s announcement to lift restrictions on transit passenger services, from June 15, Emirates will offer passenger services to 16 more cities on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. With travel restrictions remaining in place in most countries, customers are reminded to check entry and exit requirements before their journey.
Dubai’s Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, said on Thursday it would operate transit flights to 29 destinations in Asia, Europe and North America by June 15.
Etihad Airways, meanwhile, said it would carry transit passengers to 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia from June 10.
Emirates continues to take a measured approach to flight resumption and rebuilding connections between Dubai and the world.
Throughout June, Etihad is continuing to operate a network of special flights from Abu Dhabi to previously announced destinations across its international network. Easy transfer connections via Abu Dhabi will now be available from Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo to major cities across Europe including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London Heathrow, Madrid, Milan, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Zurich. Foreign citizens remain banned from entering except those holding UAE residency, who require UAE government approval before returning.
Meanwhile, the Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA) has welcomed the decision of government agencies to open airports for transit flights, indicating that this decision is a step in the right direction, and comes within the policy of progressive economic openness that the UAE has committed to.
The Pakistan government has abolished the 48-hour quarantine condition for air travellers and would instead be sent to their homes after a medical check-up and test at the airports, aviation sources said. Under the new policy, all the passengers will be checked at the health counters of the airports.
With this latest announcement, Emirates will be offering flights for passengers on the back of its scheduled cargo operations from Dubai to 29 cities, including existing flights to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne and Manila (from 11th June).
Customers can book to fly between destinations in the Asia Pacific and Europe or the Americas, with a convenient connection in Dubai, as long as they meet travel and immigration entry requirements of their destination country.
Working closely with the UAE authorities, Emirates continues to take a measured and phased approach to flight resumption and rebuilding connections between Dubai and the world.
Health and safety first: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes to all customers.Travel restrictions: Customers are reminded that travel restrictions remain in place, and travellers will only be accepted on flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries.
One of the world's biggest long-haul airlines, Emirates looks to resume flights gradually in line with the lifting of travel and operational restrictions, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.
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"Following the announcement of positive COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong relating to certain passengers who travelled on our flights, Emirates has taken the decision to temporarily suspend passenger services from Pakistan, from 24 June 04:00 Pakistan LT. "
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