Dubai-based Emirates airlines will resume flights to nine cities in eight countries, including providing connections between the UK and Australia, from May 21, the airline announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
The eight destination cities are: London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne.
The statement noted that the flights were subject to government approval and passengers must comply with entry requirements for their destination country.
For UAE residents looking to return to Dubai, passengers will need to secure approval from The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) via the online UAE Twajudi Resident service.
All passengers will be subject to a mandatory Dubai Health Authority (DHA) coronavirus test on arrival, followed by a 14-day quarantine period and follow up test.
“We are pleased to resume scheduled passenger services to these destinations, providing more options for customers to travel from the UAE to these cities, and also between the UK and Australia. We are working closely with the authorities to plan the resumption of operations to additional destinations,” said Emirates CEO Adel Al Redha in the statement.
“We have implemented additional measures at the airport in coordination with the relevant authorities in respect to social distancing and sanitization. The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and communities, remain our top priority,” he added.
The announcement was made on the airline’s official Twitter page. However, the airline subsequently deleted the tweet and instead distributed the information in a statement.
The airline also plans to offer repatriation flights from Dubai to three locations this week: Tokyo Narita (15 May), Conakry (16 May), and Dakar (16 May). These flights are also subject to government approval.
All customers and employees will be temperature checked at Dubai International Airport, while Emirates’ cabin crew, boarding agents, and ground staff that interact directly with travellers will wear personal protective equipment. All cabin baggage will need to be checked in, with passsengers only able to carry essential items on board, such as a laptop, handbag, or baby items.
Following landing, all Emirates aircraft will go through advanced cleaning and disinfection processes, the airline said in its statement.
Return to the UAE
On Saturday the airline said that it would operate limited passenger flights for travelers to return to the UAE.
The news follows last week’s announcement that Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways would be operating one-way flights to the UAE capital for residents and nationals to return to the country beginning May 9. Earlier on Wednesday Etihad said it would operate a “special” flight from Abu Dhabi to New York for Americans looking to return home May 15.
Flights out of the UAE were suspended on March 23 as officials moved to contain the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. Etihad, Emirates and other Gulf airlines have begun to offer some flights out of the UAE for those looking to return last week, but incoming flights were still unavailable except for government-organized repatriations.
It is currently unclear when all government restrictions on passengers will lift. The UAE has temporarily banned visas on arrival for all nationalities and banned its citizens from traveling outside the country.
Earlier this month, Etihad and Emirates chiefs said that it could take three years for air travel demand to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
On April 29, Etihad Airways said that it would be delaying the return of regular passenger flights until June 16.