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Commercial Flights to and from UAE Set to Resume on June 4, According to flydubai

Commercial Flights to and from UAE Set to Resume on June 4, According to flydubai

Budget airline flydubai says it expects commercial passenger flights to and from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be permitted from June 4, nearly two and a half months after regularly scheduled flights were suspended. The budget carrier says it has seen an updated Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that was recently issued by the country’s civil aviation regulators and which changes the requirements of the flight ban from “until further notice” to a specific date.

All regular commercial flights to and from the UAE have been suspended since March 25 after travel restrictions were imposed by the government in an attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, only special repatriation and cargo-only flights have been allowed and the authorities have refused to indicate when the ban might be lifted.

Photo Credit: Emirates

The apparent reluctance to lift the flight ban has already scuppered plans by Etihad Airways to resume services… twice. The Abu Dhabi-based airline originally wanted to restart some of its regularly scheduled flights from May 1 but pushed back that date to the start of June when it became clear that officials were not prepared to ease travel restrictions.

Since then, Etihad has again pushed back its restart date to mid-June with chief executive Tony Douglas stressing that the airline wanted to pursue a “business as usual” approach once restrictions are finally lifted.

Douglas has, however, recently admitted that the airline has been forced to make “quite sizeable redundancies,” as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Sources quoted by Reuters claim the airline is now telling staffers to “brace” themselves for even more cuts amongst the carrier’s roughly 20,000 strong workforce.

Emirates, meanwhile, warned on Sunday that it would take at least 18-months “before travel demand returns to a semblance of normality”. The airline doesn’t anticipate a return to service until July, although even that restart date might be pushed back later because of ongoing travel restrictions and border closures around the world.

For its part, flydubai still isn’t saying when it might restart normal passenger operations. Last month, the government-owned airline said it would only attempt a restart when “the time is right”. In the meantime, the carrier said it would focus on repatriation and cargo-only flights.

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