Emirates has announced that it will temporarily suspend most flights, starting on Wednesday, March 25.
The Dubai-based airline initially said it will suspend all passenger operations, but that statement has since been deleted and a new one was released. Emirates then stated that it has received requests from governments and customers to help repatriate travelers. Therefore, it would continue to operate reduced flights to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, USA and Canada.
However, a day later, the government of the UAE announced a ban on all passenger flights to and from the country, hence suspending Emirates’ operations from March 25. Abu Dhabi-based competitor Etihad Airways is forced to halt flights as well.
Emirates had already announced wide-ranging flight cancellations ahead of these announcements.
Emirates is cancelling flights to Pakistan from Sunday, March 22, and flights to Germany, France and Nigeria from Monday, March 23, until further notice.
Almost 100 other destinations are, or will, also be suspended for a limited period of time.
— International Flight Network (@FlightIntl) March 22, 2020
Emirates’ cargo flights, that are operated by Boeing 777 freighters, are not affected. According to the airline, it continues to deploy its fleet of cargo aircraft for the transport of essential goods, including medical supplies, across the world.
In addition to flight reductions and now a total suspension, Emirates has undertaken a series of measures to contain costs. For example, employees are encouraged to take paid or unpaid leave due to reduced flying capacity. Furthermore, there will be a reduction of basic salary for the majority of the airline’s employees for three months.
These measures come amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, which has led to travel restrictions around the world and a drop in demand for flying.
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Nick Wenzel founded International Flight Network in 2016. He is the Social Media Manager and an Editor for IFN.news.