Emirates and Etihad ready to resume transit flights

Resumption of transit services is a major step in returning Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports to normal operations two months after flights were halted. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 05 June 2020

Emirates and Etihad ready to resume transit flights

  • UAE’s two largest carriers lead the way as hard-hit aviation sector struggles to shake off pandemic paralysis

DUBAI: Emirates and Etihad Airways, the UAE’s two largest carriers, said they will resume transit flights as the country’s key aviation sector slowly emerges from pandemic paralysis.

Dubai-based Emirates said on Thursday it will operate transit flights to 29 destinations by June 15, while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad said it would transit passengers to 20 destinations from June 10.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have become key global layover hubs for passengers moving between Asia, Europe and the Americas and the resumption of transit services is an important step toward returning the cities’ two vast and modern airports to normal operations.

It comes more than two months after the UAE stopped all passenger flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Foreign citizens without UAE residency remain banned from flying to the country.

Emirates said it would also offer flights to Bahrain, Manchester, Zurich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, New York JFK, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Perth and Brisbane.

“Customers can book to fly between destinations in the Asia Pacific and Europe or the Americas, with a convenient connection in Dubai, as long as they meet travel and immigration entry requirements of their destination country,” Emirates said.

Meanwhile, Etihad said transfer connections via Abu Dhabi will now be available from Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur,
Manila, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo to
major cities across Europe — including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London Heathrow, Madrid, Milan, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Zurich.

Other major carriers are also slowly resuming services as some governments discuss the possibility of opening limited “air bridges” to allow for the possibility of overseas vacations.

Virgin Atlantic said on Thursday it would restart some flights that had been grounded with further services planned for August. It said that flights to Orlando and Hong Kong from London Heathrow would resume on July 20. New York JFK, Los Angeles, and Shanghai are set to restart on July 21.

Global aviation body IATA has warned that post-coronavirus fare discounting was delivering an added financial blow to carriers.

“Airlines need cash because of the crisis and they’re seeking to encourage passengers into seats by offering low fares,” said IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce.

Carriers reduced domestic fares by an average 23 percent last month according to IATA.


Explosion heard in western Tehran — Iran state media

Updated 10 July 2020

Explosion heard in western Tehran — Iran state media

  • There have been multiple explosions around military, nuclear and industrial facilities in the past week
  • Last week, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran

An explosion was heard in western Tehran on Friday, the official IRIB news agency reported, citing online reports.
There have been multiple explosions around military, nuclear and industrial facilities in the past week. IRIB did not provide any additional information about the cause of the blast or possible casualties.
Electricity has been cut in the area of the explosion in suburbs west of Tehran, IRIB reported.
Two people were killed in an explosion at a factory in the south of Tehran, state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, a fire broke out at a ground level building at Iran’s underground Natanz facility, the centerpiece of the country’s uranium enrichment program, which authorities said had caused significant damage.
Also last week, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran, which an official said was caused by a gas leak.
On June 26, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base that authorities said was caused by a leak at a gas storage facility in an area outside the base.