Covid-19 forces several changes to Etihad flights

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 16 March 2020: Etihad Airways has implemented a series of consolidated network changes, due to the spread of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus and its continuing impact on air travel services globally.

Etihad said the changes have also been made to follow UAE and international government and regulatory authority directives and has implemented a series of consolidated network changes. This is also being carried out for the safety and convenience of its customers and staff, and to minimise operational disruption during this period.

The following services from Abu Dhabi have been temporarily adjusted:

 Milan (MXP): All flights suspended until 30 April.

Rome (FCO)

  • EY85/86 suspended until 30 April.
  • EY83/84 suspended until 30 June.

Beirut (BEY): All flights suspended from 16 March until 31 March.

Istanbul (IST): All flights suspended from 16 March until 31 March.

Casablanca (CMN) and Rabat (RBA): All flights suspended from 16 March until 31 March.

Amman (AMM): All flights suspended from 17 March until 31 March.

Madrid (MAD) and Barcelona (BCN): All flights suspended from 17 March until 31 March.

Jakarta (CGK): Reduced from double-daily to daily (suspension of EY472/471) from 18 March until 30 June.

Seoul (ICN): Reduced from daily to four weekly (operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays) from 30 March to 30 April.

Hong Kong (HKG): All flights suspended until 30 June.

Bangkok (BKK): Reduced from triple-daily to double-daily (suspension of EY406/405) from 21 March to 02 May.

Riyadh (RUH), Jeddah (JED), Dammam (DMM), Medina (MED): All flights suspended from 16 March until 31 March.

Kuwait (KWI): All flights suspended until 31 March.

Bahrain (BAH): Reduced from triple-daily to double-daily until 31 March.

Muscat (MCT): Reduced from triple-daily to double-daily until 31 March.

Shanghai (PVG): All flights suspended until 28 March.

Chengdu (CTU): All flights suspended until further notice.

Nagoya (NGO): All flights suspended until 30 June

Future changes to the route network may occur due to government directives in key markets. Etihad Airways is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and overseas and is continuing to monitor this situation closely, the airline said.

For passengers impacted by flight cancellations, procedures are in place for fare refunds or for flight changes when services resume.

Contact Centres overloaded

Etihad Airways is urging guests whose flights are impacted by Covid-19 travel restrictions to refrain from calling the airline’s customer service lines unless their flights are scheduled within the next 48 hours. Contact Centres are currently experiencing significant congestion and long waits. The immediate priority is to assist those guests with imminent travel.

Air Arabia safety measures

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Air Arabia took all precautionary measures that are necessary to safeguard travellers and staff, said the airline.

After every flight, an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process is followed while cleaning the aircraft cabin. That includes the use of certified chemicals that kill viruses, bacteria and germs and leaves a long-lasting protective coating against new possible contamination. Cleaning includes wiping of the commonly-touched surfaces in the flight cabin and lavatories including toilets, tray tables, armrests and seatbelt buckles. All headrest covers are replaced with fresh sets for each flight.

During flight, our Airbus fleet is equipped with High Efficiency-Particulate Arrestors (HEPA) filters that ensures all the air in the cabin is, on average, completely changed every 3 minutes during the flight. Those extremely efficient filters remove particles in the air down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters (with an efficiency of over 99 per cent). This ensures the highest possible quality of air circulation in the cabin. Flight crew are well trained and informed to assist when needed. Airline says it equips all our aircraft with gloves, masks and sanitizers on every flight so that it is available for use by crew and passengers if and when needed.

Air Arabia has also introduced a new modification fee waiver policy in light of current travel restrictions and to allow our customers the choice of changing travel dates. This new waiver policy provides flexibility to modify travel bookings without charge and reissuance fees.

The Covid-19 epidemic is global and airlines around the world continue to do their best to keep the world connected. Air Arabia continues to work closely with all relevant authorities and partners to ensure travellers can continue their journeys with peace of mind.

Dubai Gazette