With the exception of a handful of repatriation flights, Emirates is only offering scheduled flights to three destinations.
COVID-19 has eliminated most travel demand and government restrictions on travel further diminish whatever demand remains. Consequently, Emirates will operate regularly scheduled flights to only three destinations starting this week.
- Frankfurt – FRA (3x weekly)
- London – LHR (4x weekly)
- Kabul – KBL (3x weekly)
That’s it. The once might network of 161 destinations in 85 countries is down to three regularly scheduled flights.
All three flights will utilize a Boeing 777.
Emirates will also run a handful of repatriation flights this week, including:
- Algiers (16 April)
- Chicago (18 April)
- Jakarta (15 April)
- Manila (15 and 16 April)
- Taipei (18 April)
- Tunis (15 April)
The draconian flight cuts remain in effect until May 1, 2020.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said:
“These initial passenger services, although limited to travelers who meet the entry requirements set by the destination countries, will be welcomed by our customers seeking to return home to their countries and families. We would like to thank the UAE government and all our partners for their support in ensuring the smooth operation of our flights.
“While we hope to resume full operations as soon as possible, we acknowledge the challenges faced by many cities in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. Our network can only be restored with the easing of travel restrictions, and we maintain close contact with all authorities for the latest updates. We are working closely with the authorities to resume our services, keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of our crew and customers at every step of the journey. We continuously review the situation and will announce any additional services as they become available.”
The last sentence is key. We’ve seen a lot of cutbacks then reversals from Emirates and the United Arab Emirates as it tries to strike he right balance between protecting citizens and residents while still providing essential air service.
I never thought I’d see Emirates be reduced to three destinations.
One word of warning. Unlike many airlines, Emirates is not taking a customer-friendly approach to cancellations and refunds. Don’t buy a ticket unless you intend to travel.
Can I change my destination or refund my ticket?
No, if you change your mind about traveling after you have booked these flights, you can’t change the destination and the ticket is non refundable.
For “safety” Emirates also will not offer wi-fi onboard.
Lounges will also be closed.