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COVID-19: Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension

COVID-19: Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension

File photo of cleaning staff in protective suits boarding an Emirates Airbus A380 to disinfect it against the coronavirus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo: Emirates Airline/Handout via REUTERS)

DUBAI: Emirates and Etihad Airways will resume some transit flights after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lifted a suspension on services where passengers stop off in the country to change planes, or for refuelling.

Dubai's Emirates, one of the world's biggest long-haul airlines, said on Thursday (Jun 4) it would operate transit flights to 29 destinations in Asia, Europe and North America by Jun 15.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad, meanwhile, said it would carry transit passengers to 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia from Jun 10.

READ: Commentary: We will fly again. Here’s what’s needed to safely restart flights and resume air travel

The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers, more than two months after the Gulf Arab state halted all passenger flights in March as it introduced drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

It has since allowed a few, limited flights, while domestic restrictions such as the closure of shopping centres have been lifted.

Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who require UAE government approval before returning.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen countries around the world shut their borders as they went into lockdown, has decimated the global airline industry as demand was crushed.

Many countries continue to enforce tight entry restrictions, including some countries banning foreign visitors. Airlines around the world have warned it will take years for travel demand to recover.

Source: Reuters/dv

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