Emirates resumes Dubai to Australia flights with limited number of seats on sale

Dubai airline reintroduces flights to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with reduced capacity and aircrew 'bubbles'

Emirates airline is restarting flights to cities in Australia from Monday.

The Dubai company will resume flying to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this week, despite a reduction in the number of international passengers allowed to fly into Australia.

“Emirates will resume passenger flights to Sydney from 25 January, to Melbourne from 26 January, and to Brisbane from 28 January," an airline spokesman said.

"Emirates is keen to serve the many Australians waiting to get home, and we hope that commercial and operational conditions will allow us to continue doing so."

The airline had previously cancelled flights to the three Australia for "operational reasons". It continues flying to Perth.

It told The National that it regretted any inconvenience caused to travellers because of the decision and remains committed to flying Australians where they need to go.

Fewer passengers on flights

Current travel regulations in Australia mean that Emirates airline, and other airlines, can only sell a limited number of seats on flights to the country. The Dubai airline is operating its Australian routes via Boeing C jets that have the capacity to carry about 360 passengers.

"The pandemic has made international flying incredibly challenging, and the dynamic restrictions and requirements implemented by the different state authorities in Australia had added complexity and burden to our operations," said the Emirates spokesman.

"This led us to temporarily suspend passenger services while we engaged with various stakeholders regarding crew protocols and other operational details."

The spokesman said that Emirates had made the decision to resume services with "adjustments to our operations, so that we can continue serving our customers".

Flights remain unavailable to book on Emirates website, but this is expected to be updated soon.

New, tighter restrictions on international arrivals in Australia came into effect last week. The weekly cap was cut from more than 7,500 arrivals, to fewer than 5,000 for the next four weeks.

Cabin crew and pilots are in bubbles

Emirate's crew and pilots operating flights to Australia are in a bubble from 48 hours before their flight, until they return to Dubai.

PCR tests, which are mandatory 48 hours before flights, are now being administered to Emirates staff in their homes. Those set to report for a flight must then self-quarantine at home until they leave for the airport.

In Australia, Emirates staff must take another test on arrival, and remain in their hotels until they return to Dubai.

Emirates praised its staff for helping the airline to quickly restart passenger services to Australia.

"This is an added burden for our crew as individuals, for our rostering, and operating costs, and therefore this decision was made after careful review and consideration."

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