Etihad Airways has reaffirmed its commitment to the Australian market and its mission to reconnect families and Australian citizens stranded abroad.
The airline said that following the latest UK government directives, all passenger flights operating through the UAE to the UK have been suspended until further notice.
Despite these restrictions, Etihad says it will continue to operate for passengers permitted to depart the UK for travel to Sydney and Melbourne.
Emirates have cancelled all its UK flights, while Qatar Airways is unaffected.
As a result, Etihad advises all flights departing the UK remain unaffected and will operate as scheduled, keeping a vital link between Europe and Australia open for urgent travel.
Sarah Built, Etihad Airways Vice President Australia and South Asia, said: “As an international airline committed to serving Australia’s travel needs, helping to keep families connected and repatriate Australians stranded abroad has been a priority since the start of this crisis.
“Operating on the front lines, we are working to assist passengers on a daily basis who have been left unable to return home or reunite with their families. Despite the challenges we face, we remain firmly committed to the Australian market and want to assure our guests we will continue to fly to Australia, supporting them to return home as best we can. While we do everything we can to accommodate our guests, we do comply with the Australian Government mandate to significantly limit passenger arrivals per flight allowed to disembark at Sydney and Melbourne airports.”
To be able to fly passengers out of the UK, Etihad says it flies vital cargo to London and Manchester, positioning the aircraft to pick up passengers who wish to depart and allow them to return to Australia, within Australian government mandated passenger caps.
As per UK government advice, British and Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK can only travel internationally when they have a legally permitted reason to leave home. If travellers are visiting the UK, they may return home.
Etihad says it is working closely with guests who have been impacted by the restrictions on flights to the UK to notify them of the changes to their itineraries and rearrange travel plans.
More information is available on etihad.com/destinationguide, through the mobile app, or by calling the Etihad Airways Contact Centre on +971 600 555 666 (UAE), +61 1300 532 215 (AU) and +44 (0)345 6081225 (UK). A list of other local Etihad contact centres is available at etihad.com/contacts.
Guests who have purchased their tickets through a travel agent are advised to contact the agency from which they purchased their ticket for assistance.
For the latest information about travelling to and from the UK please visit gov.uk/coronavirus.