Coronavirus: Emirates Airline suspends most passenger flights

Emirates Airline planes are seen at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates February 15, 2019. (Reuters)

The Emirates Airline announced on Sunday that it will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights “to a few countries until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand.”

The airline reversed its earlier decision of suspending all passenger flights starting from March 25. It said the revised move following “requests from governments and customers to support repatriation of travelers.”

Earlier on Sunday, the airline announced it will be suspending all passenger flights starting from March 25, in an effort to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“Today we made the decision to temporarily suspend all passenger flights by 25 March 2020. SkyCargo operations will continue. This painful but pragmatic move will help Emirates Group preserve business viability and secure jobs worldwide, avoiding cuts,” the airline announced in a statement.

The UAE has reported 153 cases of coronavirus in the country, and two deaths as a result of the virus.

“The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint,” Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Emirates, which is one of the biggest airlines in the world, can no longer operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders and people feel safe traveling, he added.

Emirates had previously announced it would be suspending all flights to several virus-hit countries, including all flights to France, Germany, Nigeria, and New York.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coroanvirus section.

The UAE suspended the entry of GCC nationals into the country starting from Midnight Saturday until the approval of the pre-examination mechanism for the coronavirus, the foreign ministry said on Friday according to state news agency WAM.

Visas on arrivals, except for diplomatic passport holders, have also been suspended.

Read more:

Coronavirus: UAE suspends entry of GCC citizens until approval of pre-testing system

Coronavirus: UAE to suspend visas on arrival starting March 19

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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