Dubai’s state-owned airline, Emirates, France’s Air France-KLM, and Irish budget airline, Ryanair, have announced plans to resume scheduled passenger flights, albeit on a small scale.
Emirates plans to resume flights to eight countries as from 21st May 2020. Its passenger fleet has been grounded since 24th March 2020. The scheduled flights include connections between the UK and Australia via Dubai, flights to Chicago, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Paris, Sydney, and Toronto.
Air France will resume its commercial flights to Africa from next month to countries like Senegal, Togo, Niger, Congo, and Djibouti.
Ryanair is set to offer 40% of flights from 1st July 2020, on most routes but at a reduced frequency. It will resume flying from most of its bases across the European continent. According to Michael O’Leary, the group’s Chief Executive Officer, the airline expects to be running 60% to 70% of its regular flight schedule by September, depending on customer demand.
However, the airlines have taken stern health measures to ensure all passengers and crew remain safe. These include:
- All cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff in direct contact with passengers to don personal protective equipment (PPE) which include; a protective disposable gown over their uniforms, and a safety visor, masks, and gloves
- Mandatory gloves and masks for all customers and employees at Dubai International airport
- Thermal scanners to monitor temperatures of all passengers and employees stepping into the airport
- Physical distancing indicators at waiting bays
- Protective barriers at each check-in desk to provide additional safety during an over the counter interaction
- Seats are pre-allocated with vacant seats onboard Emirates’ flights, placed between individual passengers or family groups, in observance of physical distancing protocols
- Magazines and other print reading material are temporarily unavailable to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by touch
- All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey
Emirates is a state-owned airline based in Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group. It is also the largest airline in the Middle East, and the world’s fourth-largest airline by scheduled revenue passenger-kilometers flown.
In April, Emirates and Air France received government bailouts so as to remain afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the latter receiving a whopping $10.9 billion package.
Earlier this week, the Emirates Group recorded a 28% decline in full-year profit as the impact of the coronavirus cut into earnings in March.