State-owned airline carrier Emirates will start flying a limited number of passenger flights starting April 6.
The airline has received necessary approvals from UAE authorities to do so and more details will follow soon.
In a tweet made today, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman & CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, said that these flights will initially carry residents and visitors in the country, who wish to return to their countries.
“Over time, Emirates looks forward to the gradual resumption of passenger services in line with lifting of travel and operational restrictions, including assurance of health measures to safeguard our people and customers. Their safety and well-being will always be our top priority,” Shaikh Saeed said on Twitter. Emirates SkyCargo will use these flights to support trade activities, his tweet added.
Emirates had been forced to suspend passenger flights as a result of travel restrictions being imposed due to the coronavirus epidemic with only its cargo flights operational.
Yesterday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council affirmed that the airline would receive support from the government in the form of equity. Details have not been announced yet.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also revised its impact assessment estimation on airline passenger revenues and RPKs. As per the revised IATA estimation, around 8,500 passenger aircraft have been grounded, which accounts to 1/3 of the total passenger fleet around the world. It also estimates a three-month-long ‘lockdown’ of the global air travel market, along with a gradual U-shaped demand recovery.
According to IATA figures, airlines are looking at spending as much as US$61 billion of their cash reserves during the second quarter ending June 30, 2020, while posting a quarterly net loss of $39 billion.