Just days after Etihad announced flights between Australia and London, rival airline Emirates has followed suit. The UAE carrier has announced that it will operate flights to nine destinations from next week.
Before the current situation, Emirates operated a critical gateway between Europe, Asia, and Oceania. However, since the crisis unfurled, Emirates and Etihad were forced to suspend operations due to government restrictions. Meanwhile, Qantas and British Airways both cut their connections between the two countries. This left Qatar Airways as the only airline connecting the two countries. However, now two more options have emerged.
Re-connecting the UK and Australia
Emirates today announced that it would increase its network of flights. It has only been operating flights to London and Frankfurt. However, many more destinations will now be included. The majority of flights to Dubai will only be open to citizens and residents with approval to return to Dubai.
There will be one exception to this, however. Like Etihad, Emirates will begin operating flights between London and Australia. Emirates hasn’t laid out how exactly this will work other than to say,
“The airline will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia.”
With the addition of service by Emirates, passengers will now have three options between the two countries. These all stop in the Middle East, two in the UAE, and one in Qatar.
Etihad is operating the flight between London and Abu Dhabi right before the trip to Melbourne and vice versa. This means that passengers remain onboard the aircraft while it is on the ground in the United Arab Emirates.
While Etihad’s flights are not non-stop, they are direct for the passengers as they remain on the aircraft for the whole journey.
Other destinations being resumed
In total, Emirates will be flying to nine destinations as of the 21st of May. These destinations are:
- London (LHR);
The airline also has three more repatriation flights planned for this week. On Friday, the 15th of May, Emirates will repatriate passengers to Tokyo (NRT). Meanwhile, a day later, on the 16th of May, the airline will fly to Conakry and Dakar.
The UAE carrier will take a range of measures to ensure that safety is the number one priority onboard. The airline is altering its cabin service to try and reduce contact between passengers and crew to a minimum. Additionally, magazines and reading material have been removed from the cabin.
Passengers onboard the flights will not be allowed to take their usual cabin baggage allowance onboard. Instead, only essentials such as laptops and baby items will be allowed on board. Emirates previously tested passengers on select flights for the virus. However, it’s unclear if those traveling on the limited network will be tested.
Where do you want to see Emirates resume flights to? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!