Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 reg: A6-BLX. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.


The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority together with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is to suspend all inbound, outbound, and transit passenger flights in the UAE.

The decision has been made in an attempt to help limit the spread of the COVID19 novel coronavirus.

The suspension of flights to and from airports in the UAE will commence at 23:59 (UAE local time) on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, and will last for an initial 14 days, subject to further directives by the relevant authorities.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 reg: A6-BLX. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Cargo and emergency evacuation flights are exempt and can continue as scheduled.

The decision affects every airline in the UAE including: Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad Airways and FlyDubai, as well as the many different charter airlines.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “These are unprecedented times and unprecedented decisions are being made by governments, authorities and companies, including Etihad, to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to help minimise its effects around the world. We stand with our loyal customers, who are having to endure disruption and inconvenience to their travel and their daily lives, and we dedicate all our efforts and resources to ensuring we do all we can to assist them with their travel planning during this challenging period. As the national airline, we stand in full support of the UAE government’s decision, and are confident that we’re well prepared to weather the commercial and operational impact this suspension will have on our services.”

The UAE is made up of the following seven Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE.

Etihad suspended transit through Abu Dhabi International Airport at 22:00 (Abu Dhabi time) on Monday, 23 March. Any passengers booked on connecting flights via Abu Dhabi to anywhere else on the Etihad network will not be permitted to travel. Etihad says it is “attempting to contact these guests to advise them of the development”.

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Source: Breaking Travel News

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