Emirates changes decision to cancel all passenger flights
- A Monitor Desk Report 23 Mar, 2020 | 706 Views|-+
Dubai: Dubai based carrier Emirates on March 22 changed its decision to cut all passenger flights, shortly after it said it would halt operations from March 25 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The airline said it "received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers" and will continue to operate passenger flights to 13 destinations, down from its usual 159.
Emirates will continue to fly to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, the United States and Canada.
"We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and CEO, Emirates.
Maktoum said that, until January this year, the Emirates Group was "doing well" against current financial year targets, but "COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks".
"The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak," he added.
Emirates also announced it will slash the basic salaries of a majority of employees by between 25 and 50 per cent for three months, but will not cut jobs.
Gulf countries have imposed various restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, particularly in the air transport sector.
The UAE has stopped granting visas on arrival and forbidden foreigners who are legal residents but are outside the country from returning.