Emirates Airline on Wednesday (May 13) said it is resuming passenger flights to nine destinations from May 21.
The announcement came after the airline reported a 6% drop in revenue to 92 billion dirhams ($25.1 billion) for the 12-month period ending March 31, attributing it to the planned 45-day Dubai International Airport runway closure and temporary suspension of passenger flights in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline still reported a rise of 21% in profit to 1.1 billion dirhams ($288 million).
As a Group, Emirates’ profit plummeted 28% year-on-year to 1.7 billion dirhams ($456 million) as revenue dropped by 5% to 104 billion dirhams.
Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity dropped by 8% to 58.6 billion available tonne kilometers (ATKMs).
Emirates Airline and Group CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement on May 10 that “things changed rapidly” from mid-February as the COVID-19 pandemic hit globally.
When it resumes passenger flights on May 21, travellers will only be accepted on flights to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne, if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destinations.
UAE residents looking to fly back to Dubai would need an approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
The airline will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia.
It will also be operating repatriation flights, working with embassies and consulates, for visitors and residents who want to return home from Dubai. The airline plans to operate flights this week from Dubai to Tokyo Narita, Conakry, and Dakar.
Emirates said it will implement additional measures to meet social distancing and sanitization.
Precautionary measures include:
- At Dubai international airport, customers and employees will have their temperatures taken via thermal scanners;
- Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters;
- Gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport;
- Cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff who interact directly with travelers will wear personal protective equipment (PPE), that includes a protecting disposable gown and safety visor.
In-flight, services will be modified:
- Magazines and print reading materials will not be available;
- Cabin baggage have to be checked-in;
- Customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items.
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