UAE airlines resume limited passenger flights

UAE carriers Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have resumed limited passenger flights two weeks after authorities grounded airlines as part of wider shutdowns to combat coronavirus.

The flights are open to foreign citizens who wish to leave the United Arab Emirates, but no incoming passengers are allowed. Foreign residents of the oil-rich Gulf state are banned from re-entering until at least mid-April.

Dubai’s Emirates, the largest carrier in the Middle East, said it operated a flight to London late Sunday and another to Frankfurt on Monday as part of its limited resumption.

It said in a statement that it plans to operate four flights a week to London and three weekly flights each to Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels and Zurich.

Wearing face masks and other protective gear at Dubai Airport on Monday, some 212 travellers to Frankfurt went through thermal screening before they boarded the aircraft. Etihad said on its Twitter account that it resumed limited operation with a passenger flight to Seoul on Sunday.

The carrier said it will operate seven flights to Seoul, five to Singapore, six to Manila and two flights to Jakarta through April 21. Last week Emirates said that cleaning and disinfection of the planes will take place after each flight.

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