Emirates has opened bookings for flights to 12 Arab countries, with the routes from Dubai resuming from July.
Flights to destinations including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, Sudan and Jordan are now available to book for dates after July 1 on the airline’s website. In total, 16 of the airline’s services are set to resume.
While customers are now able to book onto flights, bookings and services remain subject to change as the global situation continues to evolve. The airline will offer customers as much notice as possible should a flight need to be cancelled or rescheduled.
"Currently some of our flights are available for booking starting 1 July, however the situation still remains dynamic and these flight services could be subject to change. We aim to provide our customers with as much notice as possible should there be any changes," a spokesperson for the airline told The National.
"Covid-19 flight and travel restrictions remain in place across many countries around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves, and we hope to resume services as soon as conditions allow. This includes receiving government approvals, the easing of travel restrictions, and commercial demand. We will announce any service resumption when we are in a position to do so."
The Dubai airline started resuming regular passenger flights to eight countries on Thursday, May 21, just before the Eid Al Fitr holiday. They were the first regular, non-repatriation flights out of Dubai since March 24.
The airline is currently flying from Dubai to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago and Toronto, with a schedule in place until June 30. There are also flights to Sydney and Melbourne.
While return flights are available for most destinations, passengers are currently required to apply for approval to return to the UAE.
"All travellers will only be accepted on the select flights announced if they meet the entry requirements of the destination country. UAE residents wishing to return to Dubai will also need ICA approval," said a spokesperson for Emirates.
Emirates has introduced a number of new safety measures for passengers and staff. Upon check-in, the airline will give all passengers free hygiene kits. These will include face masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser.
The gloves and masks must be worn at the airport and the face masks are also compulsory on all Emirates flights.
At Dubai International Airport, thermal temperature scanning is in place and protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk and immigration counter to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees.
Online check-in for all flights remain suspended. This allows Emirates team members to assign seats based on social distancing measures where possible. Families that are travelling together can request to sit as a group when checking in.
Emirates has amended its boarding procedures, and passengers will now enter the aircraft by exact row rather than zone, from the back of the plane to the front. Emirates boarding agents dressed in full personal protective equipment will be on hand to assist with this and all waiting areas have been amended to allow for social distancing.
Travellers who are set to transit through the airport onto another flight will have to go through thermal screening upon disembarkation. They will then be given new hygiene kits at the gate before boarding a connecting flight.
An additional crew member has been added to all Emirates flights that have a flying time of more than 90 minutes. This person, the cabin services assistant, will be responsible for sanitation of lavatories which will now be cleaned every 45 minutes.