Emirates
Emirates airline on Sunday said flights to and from the Saudi Arabia will be suspended until further notice. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Emirates airline on Sunday said flights to and from the Saudi Arabia will be suspended until further notice as instructed by the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the Kingdom’s aviation regulator.

The ban comes into effect on July 4 at 2300 hrs local time, said Emirates on its website.

Customers with Saudi Arabia as their final destination, arriving on or after July 5 2021, will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin.

Emirates' last flights to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on July 4 are as follows:

1) Dubai Jeddah Dubai – EK2805 / EK2806

2) Dubai Riyadh Dubai – EK2817/ EK 2818

3) Dubai Dammam Dubai – EK2821/ EK2822

The Dubai carrier’s announcement comes after Saudi Arabia said it will suspend flights with four countries, including the UAE due to COVID-19 concerns.

Starting from today, flights will be suspended with the UAE, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Afghanistan and all arrivals including citizens and foreigners from these countries will be subjected to institutional quarantine.

Extra flights

Due to the restrictions, Emirates is operating extra flights to and from Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam today, to support those affected get back to Saudi Arabia, and enable UAE nationals and residents currently in the Kingdom to safely return to the UAE

New variant

Governments around the world are once again imposing lockdowns and shutting borders as concerns grow about a new ‘Delta plus’ variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Despite successful vaccination campaigns, cases are mounting in Gulf countries. Saudi Arabia, which reported 90-100 cases per day in January, is now seeing over 1,000 people getting infected every day.

Etihad as well

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has also suspended passenger travel between UAE and Saudi Arabia. The airline said the decision was "in line with the latest directive issued by the government of Saudi Arabia".

"Etihad is working closely with impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries," the airline said on its website.