Emirates have introduced coronavirus blood tests for passengers, a first for airlines, the company said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The blood tests are being conducted in coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), with results available in 10 minutes. Dubai and the wider UAE have been in widespread lockdown with the airport closed. Flights have only recently begun to resume out of the emirate for individuals looking to return home.
“We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates,” the airline’s Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha said in a statement.
Emirates becomes the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. The 10-minute tests are conducted by @DHA_Dubai at @DXB Terminal 3 for travellers to countries requiring COVID-19 test certificates. https://t.co/3j6jFFlxzY pic.twitter.com/rgxB09vh1I— Emirates Airline (@emirates) April 15, 2020
On Tuesday, Al Arabiya English reported that Emirates had begun to offer ticket options for customers to travel into Dubai.
“Currently some of our flights are available for booking from May 1. However, the situation remains dynamic and these flight services could be subject to change. We aim to provide our customers with as much notice as possible should there be any changes,” an Emirates spokesperson said.
It is currently unclear when 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.
New ticket options
Earlier on Tuesday, the airline announced new options for travelers who have flight tickets issued before May 31 for travel before August 31, allowing them to either keep, exchange, or request a full refund for the tickets.
Customers who keep the ticket can rebook the flight for within two years from the day the ticket was originally issued.
Travel vouchers are valid for one year from the date the voucher was issued and are valid for any Emirates product or service, which means customers can use them to offset charges for flights to any destination in any cabin class, or other services.
The refund option is available if customers are unable to travel and will be applied without penalties.