With the world carefully and slowly opening up again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates has announced its plan to operate scheduled flight services from 21 May to nine destinations. These include London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne. It will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia.

Senior woman and adult son wearing face mask at airport in fear of coronavirus and travel ban and international trips cancellations for disease control and prevention of COVID-19 outbreak pandemic.
Travellers must comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries © Sam Thomas/Getty Images/iStockphoto

In addition to the scheduled services, Emirates is working closely with embassies and consulates to facilitate repatriation flights for visitors and residents wishing to return home. It will be operating flights from Dubai to Tokyo from 15 May, and Conakry and Dakar from 16 May. Travellers will only be accepted on these flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries.  Last month, Emirates began offering pre-flight rapid COVID-19 testing for passengers that could be used to provide confirmation for passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 health certificates.

Emirates COVID-19 testing in Dubai
Emirates has also been conducting pre-flight rapid COVID-19 testing for passengers © Emirates

The airline has already enhanced precautionary measures, so at Dubai International airport, customers and employees will have their temperatures checked via thermal scanners. Protective barriers have been installed at check-in counters to provide additional safety during interaction, and gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport. In addition, Emirates’ cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff who interact directly with travellers will don personal protective equipment including a protective disposable gown and safety visor.

Latin american wearing protective mask in airport
Passengers will have to  wear masks in airports © Pollyana Ventura/Getty Images

Social distancing protocols will also be implemented. At this airport, this includes physical indicators being placed on the ground and at waiting areas to ensure travellers maintain a safe distance. For health and safety reasons and to minimise interaction on-board, Emirates will offer a modified in-flight service. Magazines and print reading material will not be available, cabin baggage has to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board.

two seniors walking with their baggage and wearing medical mask to prevent covid-19
The world of air travel is slowly opening up again © fabio camandona via Getty Images

Emirates has also initiated a stringent safety programme to ensure aircraft cabins remain clean and sanitary. "We are working closely with the authorities to plan the resumption of operations to additional destinations," says Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer. "We have implemented additional measures at the airport in coordination with the relevant authorities in respect to social distancing and sanitization. The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and communities, remain our top priority.”

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Cize, France - July 9, 2015: French high speed train TGV operated by SNCF, national rail operator on Cize-Bolozon viaduct bridge in Ain, Rhone-Alpes region in France. This train was developed during the 1970s by GEC-Alsthom and SNCF. A TGV test train set the record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on 3 April 2007. Viaduct of Cize-Bolozon in summer season in Bugey along Ain river. This viaduct is a combination rail and vehicular viaduct crossing the Ain gorge. An original span built in the same location in 1875 was destroyed in World War II. Reconstructed as an urgent post-war project due to its position on a main line to Paris, the new viaduct reopened in May 1950. It carries road and rail traffic at different levels.
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