Emirates and Etihad Airways have announced that they will be resuming a limited number of flights after having suspended operations at the end of last month.
"Emirates Airlines has obtained the approval of the competent authorities in the Emirates to start operating a series of passenger flights from 6 April 2020 and these flights will carry travelers and visitors who wish to return to their countries. Emirates Air Cargo will use these flights to support trade and companies," announced on Twitter by the President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and chairman of the Emirates Group Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum.
The flights will initially carry only passengers leaving the United Arab Emirates, he added. From 6 April, Emirates will resume flights to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich and Brussels from Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates suspended all passenger flights in and out of the Arab Gulf state on March 24 to combat the spread of the coronavirus. On March 22, the closure of airports for two weeks was announced. The aviation sector, in particular, has been severely affected by the measures taken by various countries to contain the virus. On 31 March, the Dubai Government announced its intention to financially support the airline industry to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Until now the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has been operating special flights to repatriate foreign nationals stranded in the United Arab Emirates. These special flights have been carried out to various destinations including the US, Australia, and Sri Lanka. In some cases, the flights were used to carry fresh products to Abu Dhabi, as part of the United Arab Emirates' Food Security Program.
Etihad Airways said it would open flights to Seoul, Melbourne, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Amsterdam from April 5.