This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
The government of the United Arab Emirates has given Emirates Airline approval to begin a limited number of passenger flights out of Dubai International Airport on April 6, Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum confirmed on his Twitter feed on Thursday. The flights will initially carry travelers outbound from the UAE, said Sheikh Ahmed, who added the airline would announce details soon.
“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,” wrote Sheikh Ahmed. “Their safety and well-being will always be our top priority.”
Emirates suspended its scheduled passenger operations on March 25, as international travel came to a virtual halt amid border closings and evaporation of demand due to the Covid-19 crisis. On Tuesday Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the emirate would fully support the airline and committed to an injection of fresh capital.
As a state-owned airline, Emirates enjoys financial backing many other international airlines do not. However, it serves as a significant contributor to the economy of the UAE, which already stands to suffer from the sudden drop in oil prices the Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated.