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Uncertainty over resumption of UAE-UK services

Sajila Saseendran and
T. Ramavarman / 16 April 2010

A cloud of uncertainity hangs over the travel plans of thousands of passengers from the UAE to the UK.

Airlines and airports have advised passengers to check their flight status before leaving for the airport as it remains unclear as to when services will resume.

All flights between the two countries were cancelled on Thursday. The cancellations affected flights operated from Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports as well.

Till late Thursday, Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports continued to liaise with UK and European ATC authorities to monitor the movement of the volcanic ash cloud.

Direct flights operated by Emirates, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic from Dubai and Etihad and British Airways from Abu Dhabi were cancelled.

The cancelled Emirates flights were to fly to Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, and London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Etihad’s cancelled flights include EY21, Abu Dhabi to Manchester, due to depart at 10.10am, EY22, Manchester to Abu Dhabi, due to depart at 9.05pm, EY17, Abu Dhabi to Heathrow, due to depart at 1.30pm, EY18, Heathrow to Abu Dhabi due to depart at 9.20pm, EY20, Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, due to depart at 2.45pm.

Almost all airlines whose services were hit have either offered a refund or other options.

“It is our intention to carry passengers to their destination at the earliest opportunity when our flying programme has fully resumed. However, space is limited and it could take some days before all passengers are accommodated,” Virgin Atlantic said on its website.

Emirates is providing its transit passengers in Dubai hotel accommodation. “Passengers yet to depart for UK-bound destinations from other Emirates gateways across the network are being contacted through the airline’s call centres and local offices,” the airline said.          

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