Etihad joins Emirates in suspending all flights

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March 24, 2020
Etihad and suspension
Photo: Etihad

Etihad Airways has joined Emirates in suspending all flights in response to government coronavirus restrictions affecting inbound, outbound and transit passengers in the United Arab Emirates.

The carrier will suspend all flights to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport for an initial 14 days from 11:59 pm local time on Wednesday, March 25.

The suspension comes after a lockdown decision by the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority and General Civil Aviation Authority.

The same restrictions also prompted Emirates to cut all passenger services after initially planning to keep some routes open.

READ: Emirates cuts all passenger services.

Passengers are being notified if their flight is canceled but Etihad said all guests should still check the status of their flights on its flight tracker before heading to the airport.

It asked passengers to refrain from calling its customer service center unless they are due to fly in the period immediately before the suspension. People who booked with a travel agent should contact the agent.

“These are unprecedented times and unprecedented decisions are being made by governments, authorities and companies, including Etihad, to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to help minimize its effects around the world,’’ Etihad chief executive Tony Douglas said in a statement.

“We stand with our loyal customers, who are having to endure disruption and inconvenience to their travel and their daily lives, and we dedicate all our efforts and resources to ensuring we do all we can to assist them with their travel planning during this challenging period.

“As the national airline, we stand in full support of the UAE government’s decision and are confident that we’re well prepared to weather the commercial and operational impact this suspension will have on our services.”

READ: COVID-19 wipes out 35 percent of global airline capacity with more to come

The Gulf carrier recently introduced Etihad Credit for all guests booked to travel before June 30.

The facility allows them to rebook their trip for travel until December 31 but they will have to pay a fare difference if the ticket price is higher.