Abu Dhabi Airports will begin limited flights connecting 20 destinations via the state carrier Etihad Airways starting from June 10 as the United Arab Emirates slowly eases coronavirus restrictions placed several months ago.
The announcement comes a day after authorities confirmed that airports around the country would be allowed to operate limited flights which would include only transit, repatriation of expats, or return of residents or citizens.
Starting June 10, Etihad will operate transfer connections via Abu Dhabi 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.
The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said the resumption of commercial flights “marks the beginning of the resurgence of the UAE’s national aviation sector."
"The resumption of transfer flights through Abu Dhabi International Airport marks a significant moment for the national aviation sector. This milestone has been enabled by the effective and swift response of our nation’s wise leadership in implementing comprehensive measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said in a statement.
"We have made extensive preparations to welcome back increasing amounts of passengers to our airports, and we have worked with our longstanding partner, Etihad Airways, to implement comprehensive health and safety measures across our facilities. The welfare of passengers and our employees remains our top priority, and we continue to work with the relevant aviation authorities in the UAE to ensure their safety whilst traveling through Abu Dhabi," he added.
Flights in and out of the country were suspended on March 25 in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Abu Dhabi International Airport has only operated special cargo and repatriation flights since then as part of the government’s efforts to support the national economic and global humanitarian efforts.