Dubai: UAE's civil aviation authority has rubbished rumours regarding suspension of all flights to the country.
In a statement issued on Sunday night, March 15, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) refuted rumors circulating on social media about the suspension of all incoming and outgoing flights.
On Sunday, March 15, Dubai-based Emirates airline also put to rest news of it suspending flights from March 17.
In a tweet, the airline posted there was no truth to what it said were "baseless rumours" circulating on social media.
The tweet read: "Emirates confirms that there is no truth to the rumours circulating on social media that the airline will be suspending all flights on 17 March."
Emirates shared a link to its booking website just after the tweet message.
On Saturday, March 14, UAE temporarily suspended all flights to and from Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Iraq as of March 17, 2020, until further notice.
The flight suspension is part of the precautionary measures being taken by the UAE to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In a statement released on Saturday, March 14, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said that the decision has been made after reviewing and analysing the overall global situation and the virus spread to most countries of the world, including Italy.
It was taken in coordination with the concerned authorities in the country , including the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management authority (NCEMA).
NCEMA, and other concerned authorities, will continue to closely monitor the situation in the world and will take appropriate preventative measures based on careful analysis of ongoing developments as necessary.
check with your airline
The GCAA urged all passengers to check with their respective airlines for flight status updates on affected routes in order to reschedule their flights and ensure their safe return to their final destinations without any delay or other obligations.
Airline travel agencies in the UAE are seeing the brunt of coronavirus impact as they have been facing a spike in booking cancellations owing to more countries imposing travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, IATA said airlines worldwide could lose close to $30 billion in revenues this year from the coronavirus outbreak, with $12.8 billion borne by Chinese carriers alone.
The $30 billion estimate represents a 4.7 per cent hit to global demand from a year before.
According to IATA, carriers outside Asia-Pacific are forecast to bear a revenue loss of $1.5 billion if demand declines are limited to markets linked to China.
For the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, the lost revenues could total $27.8 billion.
“Regional carriers will see their revenue dip by 3 per cent, but this figure can go up to 50 per cent if the outbreak continues and travel restrictions are expanded,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, regional vice-president, Africa and the Middle East, at International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Albakri said the drop in ticket sales in the Middle East reflected the trend elsewhere.
The industry is staring at a potential 13 per cent full-year dip in passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.