Emirates announces limited inbound flight operation to bring back UAE residents. Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Emirates airline has announced it will be operating a limited number of inbound flights to bring back stranded UAE residents from London and Frankfurt starting this week.

Last week, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways also announced a limited inbound flight operation for the stranded UAE residents from a number of countries. However, strict guidelines are in place for passengers are flying back. This operation aims to provide relief to thousands of UAE residents stranded abroad since the country banned inbound flights on March 19 as part of precautionary measures to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

“Emirates is operating limited passenger flights to carry travellers from select destinations including London Heathrow and Frankfurt back to the UAE,” the airline said in a statement.


Approval first

Any UAE residents stranded abroad must get approval from UAE authorities before booking a seat on any inbound flight.

“If you are considering booking one of these flights to get back to Dubai, you will need to ensure you have The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approval via the UAE Twajudi Resident service before you book your flight,” says Emirates.

The Dubai-based airline is already operating a limited number of passenger flights for travellers going from the UAE to some destinations.

Passengers are advised to check with the airline about the flights operating to Dubai and the essential travel destinations guide online before they book their flights.

Emirates says that stringent entry restrictions remain in place upon arrival in Dubai, which include a mandatory DHA test on arrival, a mandatory 14-day quarantine and a follow up test before release.

How to book your ticket

You can book your ticket on emirates.com.

If a flight is sold out it will show as not applicable. You can check the weekly calendar at the bottom of the page to select the next available date.

What are the destinations that I can fly to if I am eligible?

To check which flights are currently operating to Dubai, please check Emirates’ Essential Travel destinations guide.

How do I check if I am eligible to travel?

If you are considering booking one of these flights to get back to Dubai, you will need to ensure you have The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approval via the UAE Twajudi Resident service, before you book your flight.

Can I change my destination or refund my ticket?

Applicable fare rules at the time you issue your ticket will apply.

What is expected from me?

The flights will be operated from select international airports in each country. You will need to arrive at check-in 3 hours ahead of departure to avoid any delays. Please bring your own face mask, hand gloves and abide by social distancing rules. You will need to bring the approval letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs allowing you to return to the UAE.

Can I book this ticket via a travel agent?

No, these flights are only bookable through emirates.com.

What are the items allowed in the cabin?

Cabin baggage will not be accepted on these flights. Items allowed will be limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items; any other items will have to be checked in.

Can I check-in online and choose my seat?

No, online check-in is not available on these flights. However, Emirates staff will pre-assign seats following social distancing rules.

What products and services will I have on these flights?

You will have a modified inflight product and service offering on these flights. Onboard Wi-Fi is available for purchase only. Inflight retail as well as magazines and other print reading material will not be available, and while food and non-alcoholic beverages will continue to be offered on board, packaging, content and presentation will be modified to reduce contact during meal service and the risk of infection. Emirates Lounges and Chauffeur-drive services are temporarily unavailable during this period.

What can I do if my situation is not covered under relaxed polices due to COVID-19 but I want to cancel my trip anyway?

You can still reschedule or cancel your flight. However, please note that a change fee and/or fare difference may apply. Moreover, if you choose to request a refund for this booking, the amount will be processed according to the fare rules of your ticket.