Emirates resumes Iran flights after five-month break

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This picture taken on July 17, 2020 shows an Emirates Boeing 777-31H aircraft taxying upon arrival at the Iranian capital Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. (AFP)
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An incoming passenger crosses with his luggage through a disinfection tunnel upon arriving on an Emirates flight at the Iranian capital Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on July 17, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 July 2020

Emirates resumes Iran flights after five-month break

  • Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, has been scrambling to contain the pandemic since it reported its first two COVID-19 deaths in February
  • Neighbouring countries imposed travel curbs and strict quarantine measures after the first cases of their own days later, mostly in travelers with links to Iran

TEHRAN: Dubai-based Emirates airlines resumed flights to the Iranian capital on Friday after a five-month break due to shutdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, has been scrambling to contain the pandemic since it reported its first two COVID-19 deaths in February.
Neighbouring countries imposed travel curbs and strict quarantine measures after the first cases of their own days later, mostly in travelers with links to Iran.
The 16 passengers on the Emirates flight from Dubai passed through a disinfection tunnel and had their body temperature checked upon arrival at Tehran’s airport.
In the departures lounge, masked outgoing passengers lined up at the Emirates check-in counter while an airport worker disinfected dozens of luggage trolleys.
The United Arab Emirates was among a list of countries that suspended all air links with Iran in February, along with nearby Armenia, Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey.
The UAE is a key international transit route for Iranians and had daily flights to Iran.
“My colleagues and I screened the passengers for symptoms with interviews and we also have thermal sensors,” said Nadia Piri, one of the airport’s resident doctors.
Passengers had to fill in forms on arrival, Piri said, and would have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Airport deputy head Mohammadreza Karimian said a number of airlines have asked to resume flights to Iran.
“Different airlines have made requests, considering that we observe all health protocols throughly,” he said, without naming them.
Iran has been battling a resurgence of COVID-19 illness, with official figures showing a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.
The health ministry on Friday raised the overall virus toll to more than 13,790 deaths, with 183 new fatalities, and over 269,400 confirmed cases.
Iran has refrained from imposing full lockdowns but closed schools and canceled public gatherings.
It banned travel between provinces in March but lifting the order the next month.
The rising toll has prompted authorities to make masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces and allow worst-hit provinces to reimpose restrictions, with the capital Tehran among the latest.


Egypt receives 1.4 million tourists in second half of 2020

Updated 23 January 2021

Egypt receives 1.4 million tourists in second half of 2020

  • Al-Anani said that 756 hotels and 1,039 tourist restaurants have obtained health and safety certificates since the start of the pandemic
  • Charges for trips to Luxor, Aswan, Sharm El Sheikh, Taba and Hurghada were reduced and ticket prices for all archaeological sites and museums were halved

CAIRO: As of December, Egypt received 1.4 million tourists since the resumption of the tourism activities at the beginning of July, bringing the total number of tourists during 2020 to 3.7 million.
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani revealed this during a meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, to review the ministry’s plans to combat the coronavirus.
He said that 756 hotels and 1,039 tourist restaurants have obtained health and safety certificates since the start of the pandemic.
The minister also reviewed the domestic tourism initiative Winter in Egypt and the discounted prices in this initiative.
Charges for trips to Luxor, Aswan, Sharm El Sheikh, Taba and Hurghada were reduced and ticket prices for all archaeological sites and museums were halved.
The minister also reviewed the follow-up on the Cabinet’s decisions to support the tourism sector.
The minister discussed the support offered to the tourism sector, including the procedures to obtain credit facilities and to extend support though the Ministry of Social Solidarity to tourist guides until the end of December 2020.
On Friday, the Egyptian government cut the price of fuel for the aviation sector to support the tourism sector and stimulate aviation in Egypt. According to a statement, the reduction of 15 cents per gallon will continue until the end of this year.
Tourism revenues in Egypt have fallen by more than 69 percent over the past year, from $13.03 billion in 2019 to $4 billion in 2020, Al-Anani said.