Etihad Airways will temporarily stop all flights to, from and via Abu Dhabi, following a directive from the United Arab Emirates government to fight the spread of coronavirus.
The suspension of flights, to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport, will commence at 23:59 UAE local time on Wednesday March 25th and will last for an initial 14 days.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have decided to suspend all inbound, outbound and transit passenger flights in the UAE.
In a statement, the GCAA said cargo and emergency evacuation flights would be exempt; taking into consideration all the precautionary measures adopted, as per the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Additional examination and isolation arrangements will be taken later should flights resume in order to ensure the safety of passengers, air crews, and airport personnel and their protection from infection risks.General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of UAE Statement
Earlier this week, Etihad had already been running on a reduced schedule with their entire fleet of A380s grounded.
Budget carrier Flydubai will also suspend their operations from Thursday March 26th, after the UAE government announced suspension of all incoming and outgoing flights on Monday (March 23rd) morning.
A Flydubai flight from Dubai to Hargeisa, Somaliland was refused landing and had to return to Dubai.
Similary, Sharjah based budget carrier Air Arabia will also suspend their operations from Thursday March 26th.
Yesterday, Emirates announced suspension of all passengers flights with few exceptions.
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.Emirates Airlines in a statement
Other Airlines Serving The UAE
Given the recent government decree, I expect all remaining foreign airlines flying into and out of UAE will be suspending their service by 26th March. Most airlines have already suspended their service.
Have your travel plans been affected by the suspension of UAE carriers? I am currently holding a ticket on Etihad for April 4th, LAX to AUH, and the flight falls into the suspension period. I encourage everyone to postpone non-essential travel until normalcy returns.