Emirates and Etihad cancel flights to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait
UAE airlines ground flights as countries introduce border closures to limit the spread of Covid-19
Emirates and Etihad have cancelled flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to destinations across the GCC.
The UAE's two major airlines have suspended flights to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait after all three countries closed their borders to commercial air traffic.
The measures are a response to limit the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly in the UK. More than 40 countries have suspended passenger flights to and from the UK.
Travellers due to connect on flights headed to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait will not be accepted for boarding.
Emirates advises travellers to contact their travel agent or the airline for rebooking options. An Etihad spokesperson explained that the suspensions were aimed to limit the spread of Covid-19.
"The safety of our customers and crew is Etihad's highest priority and we regret any inconvenience the suspension may cause. We will work closely with impacted guests to notify them of the suspension and help them rearrange their travel plans."
Where Emirates and Etihad have temporarily stopped flying:
Saudi Arabia has suspended all international commercial flights from December 20, initially for a one-week period. The kingdom has also closed its land and sea borders to commercial traffic. Foreign aircraft already in the kingdom are being allowed to leave, but Emirates and Ethiad have announced flight suspensions.
Emirates has suspended flights to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from December 21 to 27. The airline had previously been operating to Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh.
Etihad has also suspended flights to Saudi Arabia. The national airline of the UAE has cancelled all passenger flights between Abu Dhabi and Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh until further notice.
Oman has closed its land, air and sea borders from December 22 for a period of one week. The measure came following the outbreak of a new strain of Covid-19.
In response, Emirates has suspended flights between Dubai and Muscat until at least December 28. Etihad has also cancelled flights to the Omani capital. The national airline of the UAE said this ban remains in place "until further notice".
Kuwait has suspended all commercial air traffic until at least January 1, 2021. The country was also the first non-European country to impose restrictions on travellers flying from the UK.
Emirates flights to Kuwait are suspended until December 28, according to a spokesperson for the airline. Etihad has cancelled passenger flights between Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, with services suspended until further notice.
Updated: December 23, 2020 12:31 AM