A second United Arab Emirates airline will fire-up services between Australia and London, with Emirates confirming its planned restart of scheduled flights to/from Sydney and Melbourne, starting 21 May 2020. Earlier in the week, Etihad Airways revealed its intention to begin services from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi from this Friday [15 May 2020].
The move reflects the importance of the Australian travel market to Emirates, with the country the only nation among eight that will have more than one city serviced.
Sydney and Melbourne are among nine destinations the Dubai-based carrier intends to resume services to. Other destinations include London Heathrow (UK), Frankfurt (Germany), Paris (France), Milan (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Chicago (USA) and Toronto (Canada), subject to government approvals. Emirates will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia. The services, however, are currently only available to book online via emirates.com.
Travellers will only be accepted on these flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. This includes approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for UAE residents who wish to return to Dubai.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are pleased to resume scheduled passenger services to these destinations, providing more options for customers to travel from the UAE to these cities, and also between the UK and Australia. We are working closely with the authorities to plan the resumption of operations to additional destinations. We have implemented additional measures at the airport in coordination with the relevant authorities in respect to social distancing and sanitisation.”
In addition to the scheduled services, Emirates will also continue to operate repatriation flights for visitors and residents wishing to return home.
Health and safety on Emirates
In preparation for the resumption of flight services, the airline has already enhanced various precautionary measures throughout the customer journey.
At Dubai International airport, customers and employees will have their temperatures checked via thermal scanners. Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters to provide additional safety during the interaction. Gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport. In addition, Emirates’ cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff who interact directly with travellers will don personal protective equipment (PPE) including a protective disposable gown and safety visor.
Social distancing protocols will also be implemented. At this airport, this includes physical indicators being placed on the ground and at waiting areas in the airport to ensure travellers maintain a safe distance.
For health and safety reasons and to minimise interaction on board, Emirates will offer a modified inflight service that focuses on reducing contact and infection risk. Magazines and print reading material will not be available during this time. Cabin baggage has to be checked in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board.
Emirates has initiated a stringent safety program to ensure aircraft cabins remain clean and sanitary. After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.