UAE-UK travel: Expect possible delays, says Etihad Airways

'UK Border Force staff are set to take industrial action across this period, meaning queues at passport control may be longer than normal,' says the airline


Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


File photo
File photo

Published: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 9:19 AM

Last updated: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 6:31 PM

Etihad Airways will be operating as scheduled to London’s Heathrow and Manchester during the planned strikes by the UK’s Border Force staff but the airline has warned passengers of delays over Christmas and New Year's Eve at major British airports.

“Etihad is operating as per the advertised schedule,” Etihad Airways spokesperson told Khaleej Times about its services between December 23 and 31 as the Border Force staff at passport control will go on strike at several airports in the UK.

Currently, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will be limiting ticket sales to London Heathrow Airport during the period of strike to reduce disruption. Around 1,000 Border Force staff will strike on December 23 to 26 and 28 to 31 at different airports in the UK.

Services on the UAE-London sector are among the busiest in the world, and Etihad Airways is advising guests travelling to the UK of “possible delays on arrival at London Heathrow and Manchester” airports during the industrial action affecting airports in the UK.

“UK Border Force staff are set to take industrial action across this period, meaning queues at passport control may be longer than normal. The UK authorities have promised contingency measures to ensure arriving passengers are cleared as safely and as quickly as possible.”

The prolonged strike during the festive period is expected to impact departure schedules from the UK as well.

“There is a possibility that the dispute causes wider operational delays for airlines over this period, which would have an impact on departures from the UK, as well as arrivals,” the spokesperson said.

“Guests arriving into the UK holding passports from the UK, US, EU, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland will be able to use the electronic passport control gates (e-gates).”

A non-stop flight from Abu Dhabi to London takes under 8 hours and covers 5,545kms. Etihad has urged passengers booked on flights to the UK to check their contact and travel details by visiting

“This will ensure we can update you via SMS or email with the latest information if the situation changes closer to departure.”

Passengers can also visit for a live chat, contact details and updates on its official social media platforms.

“The safety and comfort of our guests and crew is our number one priority.”


More news from Travel