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Tue 25 Feb 2020 11:37 AM

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UAE suspends all Iran passenger, cargo flights for seven days

The decision is effective Tuesday until further notice, the UAE civil aviation authority said in a statement

UAE suspends all Iran passenger, cargo flights for seven days

Air Arabia and Flydubai operate about 25 weekly flights to Iranian cities other than Tehran - Emirate sonly flies to Tehran.

The United Arab Emirates banned flights to all cities in Iran for the next seven days in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In an update to an earlier decision to ban Iran flights - but allow access to Tehran - the country's civil aviation authority said in a statement that all UAE all passenger and cargo flights arriving to and departing from Iran are suspended for a period of one week, effective immediately.

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority added that the suspension of flights could be extended. 

"The decision is a precautionary measure undertaken by the UAE to ensure strict monitoring and prevention of the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19," the authority said.

The country has already suspended all flights to and from China, with the exception of Beijing.

Iran is the epicentre of coronavirus in the Middle East, with 12 deaths and about 60 confirmed cases. Air Arabia and Flydubai operate about 25 weekly flights to Iranian cities. Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, only flies to Tehran.

Bahrain on Monday temporarily banned flights to and from Dubai, the Middle East’s airline hub, and Sharjah in the UAE as Middle East countries reported more cases overnight.

Flights will be suspended for 48 hours, Bahrain’s state news agency reported. Kuwait, which has already stopped flights to Iran, on Monday suspended travel to South Korea, Thailand, Italy and Iraq.

Bahrain has so far reported eight confirmed coronavirus cases uwait has so far reported five confirmed coronavirus cases, while Oman and have two each - all of them linked to Iran. The UAE, which in the past weeks reported 13 cases, is yet to provide an update.

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