MONITORING DESK: The UAE’s premier airliner Emirates announced that it will be suspending flights from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to Dubai till July 15, in line with its government’s orders.
“In line with UAE government directives, Emirates will be suspending the carriage of passengers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Dubai until July 15, 2021,” read a statement issued by the airline.
Emirates also said it will not carry any passengers who have connected through Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka in the last 14 days.
“UAE Nationals, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of diplomatic missions who comply with updated COVID‑19 protocols are exempt and may be accepted for travel,” said the statement.
UAE extends ban on flights from Pakistan till July 21
Last month, the UAE extended the ban on flights from Pakistan and 13 other countries till July 21, Gulf News reported, citing a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued in this regard.
Other countries include India, Nigeria, South Africa, Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic Of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka.
In the notification, the federal aviation authority said that exceptions would be granted to cargo flights, as well as business and charter flights.
Dubai, a business and tourism hub, is the most populous of the UAE’s seven emirates. Throughout the pandemic, the UAE’s seven emirates have set some of their own COVID-19 policies.
Dubai had said on June 19 that an entry ban on those who in the past 14 days had visited India, Nigeria and South Africa would ease from June 23.
Under the changes, the entry would be permitted to UAE residents in India who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, anyone in South Africa who was fully vaccinated and those in Nigeria who had tested negative for coronavirus in the past 48 hours.
A GCAA representative on Sunday said those travelling from India were still banned from entering the UAE but deferred further comment to the Dubai government. Dubai’s media office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Dubai’s Emirates airline said on Twitter flights from India were available from July 7 but cautioned that could change.
“We’re waiting for the exact travel protocols and guidelines before we can resume.”
Dubai reopened its borders to foreign visitors in July, while Abu Dhabi requires arrivals from most countries to quarantine.
A national ban on entry from India began in April as India faced a surge in coronavirus infections. Certain individuals, such as UAE citizens and diplomats, have been exempted from entry bans.