Category Archives: Aviation

IATA urge G20 to act quickly to prevent irrecoverable damage to intl connectivity

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged G20 leaders to act quickly to support the aviation industry in order to prevent irrecoverable damage to international connectivity arising from the impact of COVID-19. In an open letter to the G20 Presidency, Alexandre de Juniac Director General and CEO, IATA emphasised the essential role that air transport will play in facilitating the recovery of the global economy. Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting government-mandated border closings and travel restrictions have led to the destruction of global air travel demand, de Juniac made a plea to governments to urgently provide, or facilitate the provision of financial support. He noted that some G20 members already have acted, including Australia, Brazil and China. De Juniac also pointed out that without the global connectivity provided by aviation, sustaining global supply chains, as well as developing country industries such as perishable horticulture and tourism would be impossible. By value, 35 per cent of international trade flown by air, 57 per cent of international tourists travel by air and each airline job contributes to 24 more in the wider economy.

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Dubai-Colombo flight suspension continues until April 9, 2020

Sri Lankan Airlines announced further suspension of Dubai-Colombo flight operations until April 9, 2020 as part of the precautionary measures being implemented in response to COVID-19. Following the announcement from the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE. All passengers who are booked during this period are permitted one free charge to travel up to May 31, 2020 for original routing. The airfare and taxes paid for the SriLankan airlines’ ticket can be transferred to a voucher which can be redeemed for your future travel SriLankan Airlines. This voucher shall be valid for 364 days from the date of issue. If you are uncertain as to when you will be travelling next due to the prevailing crisis situation, the ideal solution will be to obtain this voucher, thus securing the opportunity to travel in the future when circumstances become more favourable. The airline will not be charging any change/reissue penalties for the issuance of voucher. You may obtain this voucher any time before the expiry (364 days from the air ticket issuance) of the ticket that you are currently holding.

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flydubai suspends all flight operations from March 26 to April 9

flydubai will suspend its operations with effect from March 26, 2020 at 23:59 (UAE time) until April 9, 2020 at 23:59 (UAE Time) as part of the precautionary measures being implemented in response to COVID-19, following the announcement from the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The NCEMA contingency plan, benchmarking of industry best-practice and international guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHP) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) provided the framework for flydubai’s own response plans to COVID-19. A number of working groups have been set up across the airline to support its operations for both its passengers and employees. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said, “Our operational focus may be changing in the short term but the work continues. We have reallocated internal resources to critical business needs, including the highest levels of customer support and care of our fleet, which has seen the activation of a large-scale maintenance and care programme to ensure that all our grounded aircraft are attended to at the highest international standards. We are seeing this period as an opportunity to recalibrate our business and our unrelenting focus is now on laying the groundwork, together, for a smooth full return to service in due course.” He added, “Since the beginning of March, we have received more than 80,000 customer enquiries. Our customer engagement team is working hard to respond to this unprecedented number of enquiries that we have received. They are supported by members of staff from different teams who have been deployed to ensure that all our customers receive a reply. My thoughts are particularly …

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Etihad suspends all flights from March 24

Etihad Airways to suspend all inbound, outbound, and transit passenger flights in the UAE from March 24, 2020. The airline will suspend all departures from Abu Dhabi International Airport immediately for an initial 14 days, subject to further directives by the relevant authorities. This directive is brought forward by the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). This decision has been made to limit the spread of the COVID-19 and to protect citizens, residents, and international travellers. All Etihad Airways aircraft currently outside the UAE on Tuesday 24 March, will continue to operate to Abu Dhabi as planned, with the final arrival on 25 March, carrying passengers permitted to enter the UAE under current government imposed restrictions. The airline continues to follow UAE and international government and regulatory authority directives and is applying a contingency plan to assist affected customers. The airline will announce the resumption of services through its usual channels once restrictions are lifted.

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UAE suspends all inbound, outbound passenger flights for two weeks

As per WAM- The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, and the General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, have suspended all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19. The decision, which is subject to re-assessment, will take effect in 48 hours. In a statement today, the GCAA said cargo and emergency evacuation flights would be exempted, taking into consideration all the precautionary measures adopted as per the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Additional examination and isolation arrangements will be taken later should flights resume in order to ensure the safety of passengers, air crews, and airport personnel and their protection from infection risks.

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Etihad Airways to operate charter flights to Russia from March 21-25, 2020

Etihad Airways will operate five special charter flights between Abu Dhabi and Moscow from March 21-25, 2020. The flights will aid in the repatriation of Russian and UAE citizens, as well as other nationals transiting through Abu Dhabi, to their home countries following the temporary suspension of services between the two cities due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions. The overnight flights will be operated by wide-body Boeing 787-9 and narrow-body Airbus A321 aircraft. Only Russian citizens will be permitted to fly on the Abu Dhabi – Moscow sector, while non-Russian passengers of any nationality will be allowed to fly via Abu Dhabi from Moscow, provided there are connecting flights available, and no travel restrictions in place which impede entry to their end destinations. Only UAE citizens will be permitted to enter the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi International Airport.Flight EY 65 will depart Abu Dhabi at 2.15am for each of the charters, arriving in Moscow at 6.55am, while the return flight EY64 is scheduled to depart Moscow at 1.35am, arriving back in Abu Dhabi at 5.55am.

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Several flights move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi Intl Airport

Abu Dhabi International Airport has announced the temporary move of several flights from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3. On 18 March 2020, Abu Dhabi Airports consolidated operations into two terminals. Select flights operating to and from Terminal 1 are now operating out of Terminal 3. The temporary terminal move reflects Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to delivering efficient operations and a seamless passenger experience. The airports company is currently working in close partnership with the respective airlines to ensure a smooth transition from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3. The recent terminal operational updates do not reflect the current situation regarding the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is fully in line with Abu Dhabi Airports’ dedication to delivering smoother connections for passengers and efficient operations for airline partners. Abu Dhabi Airports recommends passengers check the correct terminal with their respective airline before travelling to the airport.

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Etihad Airways eases travel plans with Etihad credit

Etihad Airways is introducing Etihad credit to give guests the freedom to delay their travel plans by permitting a free cancellation and is offering the original value of their booking to be used as credit towards their next trip. As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, these new measures will provide maximum flexibility and ensures guests that need to travel, do so safely and conveniently. Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Now, more than ever, there is a global effort to care for one another and halt the spread of COVID-19 and under these challenging circumstances. Etihad Credit is our way of helping to relieve some of the unnecessary burden many of our customers are facing.” Etihad Credit is available for all guests who have booked to travel before June 30, 2020. Guests have until September 30, 2020 to rebook their trip, for travel until December 31, 2020 – any ticket, any fare type, any Etihad destination. Any fare difference from the original ticket price will be charged. Additionally, Etihad Guest Members will be gifted monthly bonus Tier Miles from March 31 for three months to help them maintain their Tier Status. Eligible Members will receive further information directly. For guests with essential travel requirements, Etihad is working closely with the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates, and IATA, as well as other organisations, to ensure a healthy flying experience. 

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Dubai-Sri Lanka route suspended from March 19-25, 2020

All international airports in Sri Lanka will be closed for passengers arriving into Sri Lanka from Dubai with effect from 04:00 hrs on March 19, 2020 until 23:59 hrs on March 25, 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka), according to the instructions from civil aviation of Sri Lanka. During the above mentioned period Dubai to Colombo flight operation will be suspended. Based on the above deadline, given by the civil aviation authority Sri Lankan airlines states that they will be compelled to deny passengers disembarking in Colombo on UL226 on March 18, 2020. All passengers who are booked on this flight and the restricted period can reschedule their tickets for future available flights.  

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Emirates airline taking extra steps to combat COVID-19

In response to the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, Emirates airline is taking extra steps that go above and beyond industry and regulatory requirements to ensure its customers’ health and comfort. On all aircraft departing from its hub in Dubai, Emirates has implemented enhanced cleaning and complete disinfection of all cabins as a precaution. In line with the latest expert medical finding that the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted by touch, Emirates has placed its greatest focus on surface cleaning. The airline uses an approved chemical that is proven to kill viruses and germs, leaves a long-lasting protective coating against new contamination of viruses, bacteria and fungi on surfaces, and is eco-friendly. The cleaning process includes a comprehensive wipe down of all surfaces – from windows, tray tables, seatback screens, armrests, seats, in-seat controls, panels, air vents and overhead lockers in the cabin, to lavatories, galleys and crew rest areas. All of this is done in addition to other normal procedures such as changing head rest covers on all seats, replacement of reading materials, vacuuming, and more. To complete this thorough cleaning process within an hour while the aircraft is preparing for its next mission, requires a team of 18 trained cleaners on a Boeing 777, and a team of 36 for an A380. In a 24-hour period on an average day, some 248 aircraft go through this process. On any aircraft that were found to have transported a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, Emirates would go even further, and implement deep cleaning and disinfection in a process that takes between six to eight hours to complete. This includes the defogging of cabin interiors and misting …

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