By Neil Halligan
Etihad Airways, Emirates airline, Flydubai and Air Arabia to announce operations shortly
In a boost for airlines in the UAE, airports will be reopened for transit flights, according to the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).
Etihad Airways has been operating limited transit flights via Abu Dhabi, connecting Australia with the UK, but all passengers have to remain on board the aircraft while it’s on the tarmac. Under the new announcement, it’s understood that airlines will be able to use terminal buildings.
We welcome the UAE authorities' decision to re-open UAE airports for all connecting travellers. @Emirates and flydubai will shortly announce the resumption of passenger flights to more cities with connections to, and through, Dubai. @DXB pic.twitter.com/3ZSnagAo29— HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (@HHAhmedBinSaeed) June 3, 2020
Dubai carriers Emirates airline and Flydubai have welcomed the announcement, adding that new passenger flights will be announced in due course.
“We welcome the UAE authorities' decision to re-open UAE airports for all connecting travellers,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO and chairman of Emirates and chairman of Flydubai.
“Emirates and Flydubai will shortly announce the resumption of passenger flights to more cities with connections to, and through, Dubai,” he added.
The announcement was made during the UAE’s daily Covid-19 update, which revealed 571 new cases of coronavirus from more than 41,762 tests across the country in 24 hours.
Dr. Saif Juma Al Dhaheri, NCEMA spokesman said the decision to permit the transfer and transit of passengers at some of the country's airports from other international ports is part of additional steps towards restoring normalcy in the country.
"The decision includes Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport, and Sharjah International Port, and covers Etihad Airways, Emirates, Flydubai and Air Arabia," he said, adding that each carrier will announce details on their operations in the coming days.
"The decision has been made following a holistic review by a number of national authorities, including NCEMA, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, and the health sector.
"As a global aviation hub, the UAE is determined to ensure the application of Covid-19 countermeasures according to the criteria of various international aviation organisations in order to protect the safety of passengers and staff at its airports," Al Dhaheri added.
He said dedicated taskforces from various departments have been working to develop a comprehensive framework to apply safety procedures across the country's airports, and with airlines, “by conducting field visits to ensure all precautionary measures are in place for the safety of all passengers across all arrival and departure terminals, as well as in all means of transport inside airports and plane cabins”.