Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is operating limited one-way flights to the UAE capital for residents and nationals to return to the country beginning May 9, according to a travel update posted on the airline’s website.
Residents must apply for ICA approval through the UAE Twajudi Resident service, which can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s website here.
“These flights have been approved by the UAE Government, and we’re working closely with authorities to continue these types of operations,” the statement read.
The airline announced that the following inbound flights were scheduled:
• Amsterdam: May 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29
• Barcelona: May 14, 17, 24 and 31
• Frankfurt: May 17, 24 and 31
• Jakarta: May 15 and 29
• Kuala Lumpur: May 23 and 30
• London: May 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30
• Manila: May 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29 and 30
• Melbourne: May 13, 20 and 27
• Seoul: May 22 and 29
• Singapore: May 20 and 27
• Tokyo: May 20 and 27
• Toronto: May 12
All passengers will be subject to thermal and antigen testing to screen for the coronavirus upon arrival in Abu Dhabi, according to the airline. A further 14 days of self-isolation is then required.
Etihad added that it has put in place additional safety steps on flights to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The airline recommends all passengers wear face masks and wash their hands at regular intervals.
When on the aircraft, passengers will be seated with as much distance apart as possible, the statement read.
Dubai’s Emirates has yet to announce official flights for residents to return to the UAE, or a return to normal operations.
“Travel restrictions into the UAE remain in place. Emirates can only carry passengers into the UAE, who are approved to travel by MoFAIC,” an Emirates spokesperson told Al Arabiya English regarding additional flights.
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.
Last week, 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.
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