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Next few weeks to be a ‘big test’ for aviation industry – Emirates’ Sheikh Ahmed

Next few weeks to be a ‘big test’ for aviation industry – Emirates’ Sheikh Ahmed

The Dubai-based carrier’s chairman and CEO confirmed that the airline would expand its services to additional destinations

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates chairman and chief executive, has said that the aviation industry will be tested over the next few weeks.

“The next few weeks will be a big test for the whole aviation industry in many ways. At Emirates we see a positive trend of traffic building up across our network over the past weeks, and we are ready to serve our customers,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

His comments came a day after Dubai announced tourists would be allowed to return from July 7, whereas residents and citizens from the emirate are permitted to travel to any international destination beginning June 23.

Also, expats possessing residency visas issued in Dubai can now return to the emirate.

The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management issued a comprehensive set of protocols and guidelines that must be observed by all visitors, residents and citizens as they return to the country, or exit it, via the airport in Dubai.

Read: Dubai to welcome tourists from July 7, unveils new travel protocols for all residents and citizens

“This is a strong affirmation of Dubai’s readiness to resume aviation and economic activity after comprehensive planning, review, and preparation. We are confident that the multi-layered measures that have been put in place in the air, on the ground, and throughout our city, enables us to mitigate risks of infection spread and manage any required response effectively,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures to safeguard its customers and employees including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.

The airline said that travellers will only be accepted on flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries which can be found on the airline’s websites.

As part of the directives issued by the Dubai government, airlines will have the right to refuse boarding if a passenger displays any Covid-19 symptoms.

On June 18, the Dubai-based carrier said that it would offer scheduled passenger flights to 10 additional cities, increasing the total number of destinations served by it to 40.

Read also: Emirates announces flights to 10 new cities; offers connections via Dubai to 40 destinations

Sheikh Ahmed said that the new directives issued by the Dubai government gave the airline “the opportunity to expand our network and offer additional destinations which will be communicated in the coming days.”

“We believe that cities around the world are conducting ongoing reviews and will soon follow suit to update their border entry requirements for international travellers.”

“In the past weeks, Emirates has gradually expanded our network by offering services to a number of destinations, providing the means for customers to travel through Dubai while serving the global demand for air freight movement. We continue to work closely with all stakeholders and international organisations to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for our crew, our customers and our communities,” noted Sheikh Ahmed.

Dubai airport recorded 17.8 million customers in Q1 2020, down 19.8 per cent year-on-year

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said in May that the timing and the speed of air traffic recovery will eventually depend on the development of a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 and added that he saw a recovery timeframe of 18-24 months for air travel.

Read more: Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths expects 18-24 months recovery timeframe

Earlier this month, Emirates president Tim Clark said that as airlines across the world resume services, the option of leaving middle seats vacant to fulfill the requirements of social distancing is neither economically viable nor sustainable.

Read: Airlines cannot operate with empty middle seats – Emirates’ Tim Clark

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