Etihad and Emirates restrict Philippines flights to transit passengers only

The move comes after the Philippines closed its borders to travellers from the UAE and Oman

Travellers originating in the UAE will no be allowed to enter the Philippines until May 31. Courtesy Charles Deluvio   
Travellers originating in the UAE will no be allowed to enter the Philippines until May 31. Courtesy Charles Deluvio   

Emirates and Etihad will not allow UAE passengers on to its flights to the Philippines until at least May 31.

While both airlines will continue to operate scheduled services to the country, these flights will only be available to those transiting through the UAE. This is in line with a directive from the Philippines government, which has banned the entry of all travellers from both the UAE and Oman from Saturday until May 31.

All travellers coming from Oman and the UAE or those with travel history to these two countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines beginning May 15 until May 31

Harry Roque, presidential spokesperson, Philippines

The ban comes amid concerns in the Philippines over the new coronavirus variant first detected in India, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. "All travellers coming from Oman and the UAE or those with travel history to these two countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines beginning May 15 until May 31."

The Philippines has also decided to extend a travel ban on all passengers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for a further two weeks, until Monday, May 31.

Etihad said that passengers from the UAE and Oman would not be allowed on flights to Manila until further notice, and that it was working closely with affected guests to notify them of changes to their itineraries.

“In line with the latest directives issued by the government of the Philippines, passengers from the UAE and Oman will not be accepted for travel to Manila effective Friday, May 14 until further notice, with the exemption of Filipino citizens who are part of the government repatriation programme. This is in addition to the current ban on travel from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to the Philippines.

“Etihad will continue to operate flights to Manila carrying transiting passengers from non-restricted countries and flights from Manila with passengers travelling to Abu Dhabi and across our network. These passengers will be subject to acceptance and quarantine conditions.”

These sentiments were echoed in a statement from Emirates, which outlined that passengers originating in the UAE would not be allowed to travel to any destinations in the Philippines. “As directed by the government of the Philippines, restrictions on the carriage of passengers into the country will be in effect from May 15 to 31.

"Passengers whose journey originates from the UAE, including Filipino nationals, will not be accepted for travel to all points in the Philippines. During this time, flights will continue to operate as scheduled and passengers transiting in Dubai and those returning to the Philippines under the government repatriation programme will be allowed to travel.”

Scroll through the gallery below for a look at Etihad's Covid-19 safety procedures:

Updated: May 16, 2021 12:36 PM

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