Coronavirus: Dubai resumes flights of foreign airlines as it welcomes back tourists

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Dubai Airports resumed scheduled operations of 13 international airlines at Dubai International Airport (DXB), after it started welcoming back tourists as coronavirus restrictions in the Gulf tourism hub are eased, the emirate’s media office reported on Thursday.

The foreign airlines resuming operations at DXB are: Air Blue, Air France, Cebu Pacific, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Gulf Air, KLM, Lufthansa, Mahan Air, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Royal Jordanian.

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The Dubai Media Office (DMO) said that more airlines are “expected to join later,” adding that Dubai-based airlines Emirates and flydubai “have boosted their schedules.”

Dubai said on June 21 that it will allow its residents and citizens to begin traveling to international destinations starting from June 23, and that there will be no restrictions on overseas destinations, provided that the country of destination “agrees to receive them.”

It also added that it will welcome back international tourists through its airports from July 7.

CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths said on Thursday: “We have ensured everything is in place to welcome airlines from around the world back to Dubai as a growing number of bilateral agreements between countries conclude to facilitate the opening of borders and the gradual return of traffic.”

He added: “We remain in close discussions with government officials and airlines to support the resumption of additional services as approvals are granted in the weeks and months ahead. The message is that we are ready to welcome visitors back to Dubai and we will do our utmost to take care of them whilst they are here.”

DMO stressed the importance of coronavirus precautionary measures such as wearing masks and gloves, temperature checks, social distancing and arriving to the airport two hours ahead of the flight to allow for screening measures.

A man is seen through a thermal camera at Dubai International Airport amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in Dubai, UAE, April 27, 2020. (Reuters)
A man is seen through a thermal camera at Dubai International Airport amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in Dubai, UAE, April 27, 2020. (Reuters)

“In order to maintain public safety and physical distancing requirements, travelers without confirmed tickets, passengers without proper protective equipment, and passengers who arrive to the airport earlier than 4 hours before their scheduled departure time will not be permitted to enter the terminal buildings,” DMO added.

Air travel and tourism have been one of the hardest-hit sectors internationally by the coronavirus pandemic, with many governments worldwide shutting their borders, restricting travel, banning tourism activities, and imposing curfews and lockdowns.

The UAE had suspended all passenger and transit flights to and from the country on March 23 as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

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