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All inbound and outbound passenger flights, and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE, had been suspended for two weeks, subject to reassessment, as part of the precautionary measures taken to limit the spread of COVID-19, starting at 11:59 pm on Thursday 26 March. Image Credit: Gulf News

Etihad Airways

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways plans to gradually resume operating passenger services through July-August after the easing of flight restrictions on outbound and inbound travel to the UAE.

It plans to fly to 58 destinations, including destinations in North America and Australia. Resumption will be subject to the lifting of international restrictions and the reopening of individual markets.

“We are delighted to announce the gradual expansion of normal scheduled services to more cities across our global network,” said Tony Douglas, group CEO at Etihad Aviation Group. “The easing of restrictions on travel to and from the UAE is an important first step and a great development for Abu Dhabi.

“By August we aim to operate approximately 45 per cent of our pre-COVID capacity.”

Etihad in June announced a Wellness Programme, a comprehensive guideline that aims to provide passengers with peace of mind while flying, and informing them on all the safety and sanitisation measures that have been implemented through every step of their journey.

“Over the last few months, we have seized every opportunity to improve our processes, review our product offerings and undertake the biggest fleet maintenance programme in our history,” Douglas said.

Full list of planned flights:

  • North America: Chicago, New York JFK, Toronto, Washington, D.C.
  • Europe: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Brussels, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, London Heathrow, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome, Zurich
  • Middle East & Africa: Amman, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Kuwait, Muscat, Rabat, Riyadh, Seychelles
  • Asia: Ahmedabad, Baku, Bangkok, Bengaluru, Chennai, Colombo, Delhi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Jakarta, Karachi, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Male, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Thiruvananthapuram, Tokyo
  • Australasia: Melbourne, Sydney

Fly Dubai

Dubai: Dubai-based airline flydubai is taking to the skies again from today, with the low cost carrier resuming passenger operations across its network.

The announced destinations include flights to Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa. The airline is also planning to extend the number of destinations to 66 over the course of the summer, subject to easing of international travel restrictions.

Like most other airlines, flydubai has seen its passenger flights brought to a complete halt since mid-March when flight restrictions were imposed. Since then, the airline has only been operating cargo flights and special repatriation flights.

“Today, marks the resumption of our flights and as we reflect on the last few months we should recognise that this is an important milestone,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer of flydubai.

“This is a positive step for the UAE and for the aviation industry. We are optimistic for the future of travel and we expect to see our schedule reach 66 destinations over the summer. Travel restrictions do remain in place around the flydubai network which we will gradually build up,” he added.

Despite the resumption of flights again, Al Ghaith said the travel industry was a very different one in the aftermath of COVID-19, with both passengers and airlines needing to adapt.

“We should acknowledge however that the way we travel has changed and our passengers do need to be prepared and ready to travel in this new way.

“We are delighted to welcome our first international visitors who can expect a warm welcome in the city which is well-known for its hospitality,” he added.

And to ensure passenger health and safety, the airline said its flights would have a comprehensive cleaning programme in place, which will include disinfecting its planes as well all its touchpoints.

Full list of destinations:

  • Africa: Addis Ababa, Juba, Khartoum
  • Central Asia: Almaty, Kabul, Nur-Sultan
  • Europe: Belgrade, Bucharest, Dubronvik, Kyiv, Krakow, Prague, Sarajevo, Sofia
  • Middle East: Alexandria, Amman, Beirut

Air India

Dubai: Indian national carrier Air India has started ticket bookings for five new flights from Dubai and Sharjah between July 11 and July 14. under the Vande Bharat Mission.

The first of these flights (AI 0996) will leave for Delhi from Dubai at 4pm on Saturday. The remaining flights will be from Sharjah.

There will be two flights on the following day. Flight AI0904 will depart to Indore at 10.25 am on July 12 followed by the AI1976 flight to Srinagar at 11.40 am.

On July 13, flight AI904 will leave for Chandigarh at 10.25 am followed by flight AI912 to Ahmedabad on July 14. Announcing the schedule on twitter, Air India said Indian nationals who registered with their missions and fulfil entry conditions could book their tickets through the Air India office or online through the Air India website