Etihad Airways is to begin flying a limited number of passengers to the United Arab Emirates tomorrow. The carrier has so far only been carrying passengers on an outbound basis.
Following a total ban on flights to and from the UAE, Emirates and Etihad were slowly allowed to resume limited flights last month. However, these flights were only carrying passengers out of the UAE. This means that they were returning to the UAE empty. However, the UAE has now given Etihad approval to operate passenger flights into the UAE. These flights will start tomorrow.
The first flight inbound to the UAE will take place tomorrow from London. This will see UAE citizens and those holding a resident visa provided with the opportunity to return to their home country for the first time in weeks.
In total, flights from 12 different destinations have been announced. However, this could be changed depending on the circumstances. According to Etihad, flights will operate to:
- Amsterdam: 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29 May
- Barcelona: 14, 17, 24 and 31 May
- Frankfurt: 17, 24 and 31 May
- Jakarta: 15 and 29 May
- Kuala Lumpur: 23 and 30 May
- London: 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30-May
- Manila: 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29 and 30 May
- Melbourne: 13, 20 and 27 May
- Seoul: 22 and 29 May
- Singapore: 20 and 27 May
- Tokyo: 20 and 27 May
- Toronto: 12 May
How can you book a flight?
To ensure that only those who are currently allowed to return to the UAE board a flight, securing a ticket won’t be as simple as booking online. Firstly, those who wish to fly back to the UAE will need to register with the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.
This process will provide them with an ICA number. The number confirmed to Etihad that you are cleared to enter the country. Once you have that number, you are required to phone Etihad to book onto one of the flights.
How do the flights work?
The flights will operate like most normal flights. However, extra emphasis will be placed on hygiene onboard. Etihad recommends that all passengers wear a mask while onboard the trip. However, masks don’t seem to be compulsory at this time. Additionally, the airline recommends regular handwashing.
While on board the flight, Etihad will try to space passengers out as much as possible, however, this ultimately depends on how many people book to travel on the plane. The airline will still offer catering and refreshments on board, however, these will be served per current guidelines.
When passengers arrive back in the UAE, they won’t be able to stroll straight out of the airport. Instead, they will be required to undergo both temperature and PCR screening. They must then self-isolate for two weeks.
Simple Flying has contacted Etihad for comment regarding this story. It will be updated if and when a response is received
Are you keen to travel back to the UAE with Etihad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!