MIAMI – Following the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) government decision to shut down all passenger flights, Etihad Airways (EY) halts services to/from UAE at least for 14 days.

Ethiad immediately suspended operations in Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) on March 23 as the UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)closed borders except for cargo and emergency evacuation flights.

Immediate and future actions

As an initial deadline, the cut will last from March 25 throughout the beginning of April but it is also subject to further directives by the authorities regarding measures to contain the coronavirus.

Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of the Etihad Aviation Group, said that these were unprecedented times in which governments, authorities and companies were taking unprecedented decisions to respond to the current situation.

If the flight directive does not extend an additional month, it is expected that the company will launch a new four-times-weekly flight to Vienna on May 22.

PHOTO: Aero Icarus.

Passenger rescheduling

The carrier also stated that passengers who booked connecting flights via AUH will not be permitted to travel except UAE citizens, their immediate family members, diplomatic passport holders, and those with UAE-API clearance.

For those affected customers, EY is applying a contingency plan and will contact them accordingly. It also asks passengers to not collapse the airline with calls but instead use the web page to rebook flights before June 30, 2020.