Etihad adds additional repatriation flights to schedule amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Etihad Airways has announced additional passenger repatriation flights to London, Tokyo, Dublin, Zurich, and Brussels. This would complement the existing flights started by the Abu Dhabi-based carrier last week with the main goal of repatriating stranded travelers in the UAE due to stringent travel restrictions in place. The Emirati government had earlier suspended all scheduled passenger flights in response to the current COVID-19 Pandemic. The flights, which started operating on April 5th, are one-way carrying stranded tourists to the destinations served. The flights then ferry stranded Emirati nationals back to the UAE on the return leg. The Gulf Carrier has reiterated that it will continue to repatriate UAE citizens on the return sectors as much as possible as well as carrying essential cargo back to Abu Dhabi. The initial destinations for the flights were Singapore, Seoul-Incheon, Melbourne, Jakarta, Amsterdam, and Manila. With the additional new destinations served, the total number of cities Etihad is operating repatriation flights to is 11. Flights are operated by the Airline’s twin-engine Boeing 777s and 787s for most of the routes. According to The National, Flights operating to London will begin on Thursday, April 16 and will run daily until Saturday, April 18. Flights to Zurich flights will operate on April 17 and 19; to Brussels on April 17 and 19; Tokyo on April 14, 17 and 20; and Dublin on April 15, 20 and 22. Etihad has already redeployed some of its Boeing 787-10 aircraft as freighters to support critical cargo operations as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.