Just days after suspending all flights to and from the UK, Emirates has announced that it will offer one-way flights from London to Dubai starting from tomorrow. The airline temporarily suspended flights after the UK government placed a ban on all UAE flights. The airline will now offer passenger flights from Manchester and London Heathrow only. The remaining UK routes will be cargo only.
On January 29th, Emirates suspended all scheduled flights between the UAE and the United Kingdom. However, the airline is now ready to resume flights between Dubai and London and Manchester but only one-way. The airline is now allowing passengers to leave the UK to fly to Dubai. Still, current UK government restrictions mean passengers cannot arrive from the UAE into the UK over fears of a new South African variant of COVID-19.
The airline also offers flights from Birmingham and Glasgow to Dubai, but these services will remain cargo-only for the time being. The London Heathrow service will operate daily while Manchester flights will operate four times per week.
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Fresh travel bans
The UK’s new travel ban only gave passengers 24 hours to try to return to the UK before flights would be suspended. Anyone who missed this initial window was told they would need to travel via a third country in order to return to the UK. This presented a new set of problems with other airlines hoping to avoid a future ban by limiting the number of flights to the UK.
Qatar Airways placed restrictions on ticket sales as people hoping to travel through Doha could bring the virus’s new variant with them. Etihad Airways also restricted flights and is now also offering one-way flights only.
The new South African variant and the slightly older UK variant means that 2021 is seeing more travel bans come into force. However, these bans are more specific. France has also closed its borders to travel outside the EU, and Canada has placed bans on flights from the Caribbean and Mexico.
According to the airline’s website, flights will resume using the airline’s Boeing 777s. This is undoubtedly welcome news to many as the London-Dubai was previously one of the busiest international routes. The connections offered in Dubai and London mean both destinations see plenty of passengers continuing their journey.
Currently, the biggest demand appears to be booking flights to Australia. Emirates previously suspended all flights to and from Australia because of changes to the Australian government’s arrival policy. However, the airline resumed flights just days later. There is still a cap on the number of international arrivals, but the flights from London to Dubai mean Australians looking to travel home at least have a route available.
Emirates’ quick responses to the changing travel restriction mean that recent temporary flight suspensions have lasted no more than a few days as Emirates works out how to get around the changes. The exception to this is the ongoing ban on flights to South Africa, which could resume later this week. While it is endlessly frustrating for passengers who have their flights canceled, it is good to see carriers being so responsive to changes and attempting to get flights operating as quickly as possible.
What do you think of Emirates’ flight schedule? Do you think we will see more travel bans in place over the coming months? Let us know what you think in the comments.