Emirates to resume passenger flights from May 21 to nine destinations including Paris, Madrid and Chicago – and will offer a ‘seamless’ link between the UK and Australia via Dubai
- The airline will only accept flyers that comply with countries’ entry requirements
- Before boarding flights, passengers will have their temperature checked
- Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters
- Customers will be asked to wear masks and gloves throughout their journey
Emirates has announced that it will resume passenger flights to nine destinations from next week.
The airline says it will also offer a ‘seamless’ connection in Dubai for passengers traveling between the UK and Australia.
Emirates will only accept passengers on these flights if they ‘comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries’. This includes approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for UAE residents who wish to return to Dubai.
In preparation for the restarting of flights, the airline says it has ‘enhanced various precautionary measures throughout the customer journey’.
For example, at Dubai International Airport, customers and employees will have their temperatures checked via thermal scanners.
Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters to ‘provide additional safety during interaction’.
In addition, Emirates’ cabin crew, boarding agents, and ground staff who interact directly with travelers will don personal protective equipment (PPE) including a protective disposable gown and safety visor.
And customers will be asked to wear masks and gloves throughout their journey, from check-in until they disembark.
The airline says that social distancing protocols will also be implemented with ‘physical indicators being placed on the ground and at waiting areas in the airport to ensure travelers maintain a safe distance’.
On board, there will be a modified in-flight service that the airline says ‘focuses on reducing contact and infection risk’.
Magazines and printed reading material will not be available and cabin baggage will have to be checked in.
Customers can only take essential items on board such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase, or items for babies.
The airline explained: ‘Emirates has initiated a stringent safety program to ensure aircraft cabins remain clean and sanitary.
‘The airline’s modern aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97 percent of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens, and germs from cabin air for a healthier and safer on-board environment.
‘After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.’
In addition to the scheduled services, Emirates says it will also continue to work closely with embassies and consulates to facilitate repatriation flights for visitors and residents wishing to return home.
This week, the airline plans to operate flights from Dubai to Tokyo Narita (May 15), Conakry (May 16), and Dakar (May 16).
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said: ‘We are pleased to resume scheduled passenger services to these destinations, providing more options for customers to travel from the UAE to these cities, and also between the UK and Australia.
‘We are working closely with the authorities to plan the resumption of operations to additional destinations.
‘We have implemented additional measures at the airport in coordination with the relevant authorities in respect to social distancing and sanitization. The safety and well-being of our employees, customers and communities, remain our top priority.’
Yesterday, Ryanair announced that 40 per cent of its normal flight schedules will be restored from July 1, making 90 per cent of its route network active again.
It said it hopes to introduce a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights, compared to the current 30. The Irish budget carrier said that all crew will wear face masks/coverings in-flight and that passengers will have to follow suit.
However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that ‘summer was cancelled’.
A new ‘Healthy Flying’ notice on the Ryanair homepage tells passengers to check-in online, download boarding passes to their smartphones and ‘wear a face mask/covering at all times, both in the airport and onboard your flight’.
It also encourages fliers to check their temperature before travelling.
‘It may be checked again at the airport,’ the site says. ‘If you do not pass this, you will be asked to return home.’
Meanwhile on Monday, the head of the owner of British Airways said the company would need to review its plans to resume flights after the Prime Minister proposed quarantining people flying into the UK.
In an address to the nation on Sunday, Boris Johnson said it would ‘soon be the time’ to bring in a quarantine period for air passengers to stave off Covid-19 infections from abroad.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, said there was ‘nothing positive’ in the address.
Giving evidence to the Commons Transport Select Committee about the demand for air travel, Mr Walsh said: ‘The announcements yesterday of a 14-day period (for people) coming into the UK, it’s definitely going to make it worse.
‘There’s nothing positive in anything that I heard the Prime Minister say yesterday.
‘We had been planning to resume – on a pretty significant basis – our flying in July. I think we’d have to review that based on what the Prime Minister said yesterday.’