UPDATE: As of 8pm DXB time Emirates Airline stated: "Having received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers, Emirates will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to the following countries until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, USA, and Canada. The situation remains dynamic, and travellers can check flight status on Emirates.com."
Dubai’s Emirates Airline is to temporarily suspend all passenger flights by Wednesday March 25.
The move has been made to support the government measures to safeguard community health in light of the global COVID-19 outbreak.
Emirates Airline cargo operation will remain running, reports Arabian Business.
“The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group.
“This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks.
"As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns.
“By Wednesday March 25, although we will still operate cargo flights which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended all its passenger operations. We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.”
Airfield services from Dnata will also be reduced, including temporary closure of some operations at international locations with lower demand.
Over the past weeks, the airline has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures on all of its aircraft departing Dubai as a precaution, as well as working closely with airports to bring in screening measures.
For all the latest news, keep an eye on timeoutdubai.com/news.