Emirates will begin operating limited inbound passenger flights to carry travellers from select destinations to the UAE, it said in a statement on its website on Saturday.
The current destinations for return flights include Frankfurt and London.
The airline said that stringent entry restrictions remain in place upon arrival in Dubai which includes a mandatory Dubai Health Authority (DHA) test as well a compulsory 14-day quarantine and a follow-up test before release.
Tickets for these flights can be only be booked on the airline’s website and not through travel agents.
Once booked, change of destinations are not permitted and tickets will be non-refundable.
UAE residents wishing to return on these flights must apply for The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approval via the UAE Twajudi resident service, available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (MoFAIC.gov.ae).
Passengers will need to bring to their departure airport the approval letter from the ministry authorising their return back to the UAE.
They will also need to arrive at the check-in counters three hours ahead of departure and bring their own face masks, hand gloves and abide by social distancing rules.
Online check-in services will not available. However, the airline’s operational teams will pre-assign seats following social distancing rules.
Cabin baggage will also not be accepted. Items allowed will be limited to laptops, handbags, briefcases or baby items. Any other items will have to be checked in.
A modified inflight product and service offering would be available on these flights.
Inflight retail as well as magazines and other print reading material will not be available, and while food and non-alcoholic beverages will be offered on board, packaging, content and presentation will be modified to reduce contact during meal service and the risk of infection.
Emirates Lounges and Chauffeur-drive services will be temporarily unavailable.
All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai after each journey.
“COVID-19 flight and travel restrictions remain in place across many countries around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves, and we hope to resume services as soon as conditions allow. This includes receiving government approvals, the easing of travel restrictions, and commercial demand. We will announce any service resumption when we are in a position to do so,” the airline added in its statement.
This announcement comes shortly after Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announced that it would begin operating inbound flights for UAE residents starting Saturday, May 9.
The limited one-way flights from 12 cities include London, Singapore, Tokyo, Melbourne, Toronto, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Seoul, Amsterdam, Manila and Kuala Lumpur.
UAE airlines Air Arabia and flydubai are also now accepting return flight bookings on their respective websites to a number of destinations.
The UAE had earlier suspended all regular international passenger flights in March to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus.