By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
The Emirates Group an¬nounced it will retain its cargo operations, but will temporarily suspend most passenger operations effective to¬morrow, March 25 Wednesday.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Emirates Airlines and its ground handling operator dnata, have been adapting their opera¬tions in line with regulatory direc¬tives as well as travel demand.
The airline plans to maintain passenger flights “for as long as feasible” to help travellers return home amidst an increasing num¬ber of travel bans, restrictions, and country lockdowns across the world.
Having received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travel¬lers, Emirates will continue to op¬erate passenger and cargo flights to the following countries and territories until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand.
This include the UK, Switzer¬land, Hong Kong, Thailand, Ma¬laysia, Philippines, Japan, Singa¬pore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, USA, and Canada.
It continues to maintain vital international air cargo links for economies and communities, de¬ploying its fleet of 777 freighters for the transport of essential goods including medical supplies across the world.
With many of its airline cus¬tomers dramatically reducing flights or ceasing services alto¬gether, dnata has also significantly reduced its operations, including temporarily shutting some offices across its international network.
“The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID- 19 outbreak,” says HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group.
“This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past 6 weeks.”
“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until coun¬tries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns,” he announced.