After a year of being largely grounded, flights around the world are slowly resuming as countries ease border restrictions and more people receive their Covid-19 vaccinations.
With the UAE summer stretching out ahead, many people are dreaming of a change of scenery, whether reconnecting with nature, visiting friends and family, or simply enjoying the luxury of being able to get away.
And, with a long break expected for Eid Al Adha, plus the school summer holidays rapidly approaching, travel is on the minds of many UAE citizens and residents.
Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, is encouraging people to plan summer holidays by launching a seasonal sale, with fares to several quarantine-free destinations included in the promotion.
From the Spanish capital of Madrid to the island paradise of the Seychelles, Etihad is currently flying to 12 destinations where travellers can enjoy quarantine-free travel on both ends of their trip.
Some countries require tourists to be vaccinated, while others will allow entry with a negative Covid-19 test. Travellers should check the regulations for each destination before booking any flight.
12 quarantine-free destinations
- New York City
- Washington, DC
Summer sale on Etihad destinations
Fly from Abu Dhabi to the Greek capital with fares from Dh1,495 in Economy class, or go to one of Greece's islands with Mykonos and Santorini also on Etihad's network. Travellers who are fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine and unvaccinated tourists can also fly to Greece, but will have to self-isolate on return to the UAE.
To Spain, travellers can fly with Etihad from Dh1,995 with the airline operating routes to Barcelona and Madrid. There's no quarantine needed for vaccinated travellers, as Spain is listed on the Abu Dhabi Green List.
For an island escape, tourists can fly to the Seychelles, one of the UAE's vaccine corridors, from Dh2,795 return.
With Switzerland set to reopen to travellers on Monday, June 28, and the country included on Abu Dhabi's Green List, the European nation is another choice set to be popular for summer escapes. Fly to Geneva or Zurich direct from the UAE capital with sale fares from Dh1,995.
Travellers that want to go further afield may want to consider a trip to the US, where there's no quarantine if you're vaccinated, and a recommended home isolation if not. Fly to Chicago with Economy seats on sale for under Dh3,000.
All travellers that make new bookings can save 30 per cent on Economy Space seats, where passengers can enjoy extra legroom.
If you prefer to fly at the front of the plane, Business Class return fares to the Seychelles are on sale from Dh9,495, and to Switzerland from Dh10,995. All of Etihad's summer promotional fares are available until Thursday, June 24 and valid on travel between now and November 20, 2021.
Checking-in from home
With so many more things to think about when travelling these days, Etihad is also introducing new systems designed to simplify the process.
The airline's Verified to Fly service lets travellers validate their required Covid-19 travel documents before arriving at the airport. There's also fast-track check-in thanks to a Verified to Fly desk at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Checking in for a flight from home is also possible, thanks to Etihad's home check-in service. Travellers can use this up to seven hours ahead of their flights. Staff members will collect passengers' bags from their home, check travel documents and issue boarding passes before holidaymakers leave for the airport, allowing passengers to skip queues at the airport and focus on getting their holiday started.