MIAMI – Emirates (EK) has announced its plan to operate scheduled flight services from May 21 to nine destinations: London Heathrow Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne.*
In today’s press release, the airline says it will also offer connections in Dubai for customers traveling between the UK and Australia. These flights will be available for booking on emirates.com.
Adel Al Redha, EK’s Chief Operating Officer said, “We are pleased to resume scheduled passenger services to these destinations, providing more options for customers to travel from the UAE to these cities, and also between the UK and Australia.”
“We are working closely with the authorities to plan the resumption of operations to additional destinations. We have implemented additional measures at the airport in coordination with the relevant authorities with respect to social distancing and sanitization. The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and communities, remain our top priority.”
Entry criteria requirements and quick on-site coronavirus tests
According to EK, customers will only be accepted on these flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. This includes approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for UAE residents returning to Dubai.
On April 15, EK became the first airline to administer quick on-site coronavirus passenger tests for departing flights at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The company, alongside Dubai Health Authority (DHA), can get results from the tests in 10 minutes at the group’s check-in terminal 3 before passengers fly to Tunisia.
This was not the first effort by the carrier to contain the pandemic, as it had previously required travelers to wear their own masks at DXB and onboard aircraft while following social distancing guidelines.
In addition to the scheduled services, Emirates will also continue to work closely with embassies and consulates to facilitate repatriation flights for visitors and residents wishing to return home.
On April 13, EK had already announced its plans to operate passenger services to repatriate travelers back to more home destinations on a limited basis amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, services to Jakarta, Manila, Taipei, Chicago, Tunis, Algiers, and Kabul joined then the already commenced operations in London, Paris, Brussels, Zurich and Frankfurt, with all departures being handled out of Terminal 3 at DBX.
This week, the carrier plans to operate flights from Dubai to Tokyo Narita (May 15), Conakry (May 16), and Dakar (May 16).*
It is understood that those who book on those flights will be subjected to all health and safety checks and measures required by the United Arab Emirates government.
Health and safety on Emirates
The safety and wellbeing of passengers and employees is EK’ top priority. In preparation for the resumption of flight services, the airline has already enhanced various precautionary measures throughout the customer journey.
At DXB, customers and employees will have their temperatures checked via thermal scanners. Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters to provide additional safety during customer interaction.
In addition, gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport. Furthermore, EK’s cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff will don personal protective equipment (PPE) including a protective disposable gown and safety visor.
Emirates says that social distancing protocols will also be implemented at DXB, including physical indicators being placed on the ground, and at waiting areas in the airport to ensure customers maintain a safe distance.
For health and safety reasons and to minimise interaction on-board, Emirates will offer a modified in-flight service that focuses on reducing contact and infection risk.
Therefore, magazines and print reading material will not be available during these flights. Cabin baggage has to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase, or baby items on board.
In addition, to ensure aircraft cabins remain clean and sanitary, they have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97% of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens, and germs from cabin air for a healthier and safer on-board environment.
Finally, after each journey and on landing in Dubai, aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.
*Subject to government approval