By Steve Hartridge, published 15/05/20
Emirates will begin scheduled flight services to nine destinations around the globe from May 21.
As well as flying from Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne, the airline will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia.
However, passengers will only be accepted on these flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. This includes an approval from the Federal Authority for Identify and Citizenship (ICA) for UAE residents who wish to return to Dubai.
In preparation for the resumption of flight services, the airline has enhanced various precautionary measures. At Dubai International airport, customers and employees will have their temperatures checked via thermal scanners. Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters and 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. This will include physical indicators being placed on the ground and at waiting areas in the airport to ensure travellers maintain a safe distance.
Onboard, to minimise interaction Emirates will offer a modified in-flight service that focuses on reducing contact and infection risk. Magazines and print reading material will be removed and cabin baggage will have to be checked-in, with customers asked to bring only items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board.
Meanwhile, another airline with its hub in the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, will on May 15 begin a regular scheduled service from Melbourne to Heathrow via Abu Dhabi, and from 21 May will also introduce services from Heathrow to Melbourne, also via Abu Dhabi.
The airline says it plans to maintain this link until it fully resumes its previous double-daily connection between the two cities.
Etihad has also implemented what it says is an extensive sanitisation and customer safety programme and “is practicing the highest standards of hygiene at every stage of the customer journey”.
This includes catering, aircraft and cabin deep-cleaning, check-in, health screening, boarding, inflight, crew interaction, meal service, disembarkation and ground transportation, among others.