Combating coronavirus: 312 flights repatriate 37,500 people, announces Dubai Airports

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Dubai - 54 airlines operated 312 repatriation flights as normal passenger flights remain suspended temporarily.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 30 Apr 2020, 12:46 PM

Last updated: Sat 2 May 2020, 8:57 AM

Dubai Airports on Thursday said 37,469 people of different nationalities - including Emiratis - returned to their homes safely with the help of UAE authorities and their embassies.

It said 54 airlines operated 312 repatriation flights as normal passenger flights remain suspended temporarily in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The UAE announced suspension of all flights in late March and since then only special flights are being operated to fly back stranded expatriates from the UAE.

Currently, Emirates and flydubai are mostly operating limited repatriation flights from Dubai to different cities of Europe, Asia and the US.

Now around 75 Emirates aircraft, both passenger and freighter, are crisscrossing the planet carrying people on repatriation and cargo on essential missions.

Pakistan International Airlines has so far repatriated 2,130 citizens from the UAE through 10 special flights. This excludes prisoners and people repatriated through the UAE.

Of the 270 aircraft in its fleet, Emirates had initially parked and wrapped up 218 aircraft, 117 at Dubai World Central and 101 at Dubai International airport.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates group, said Dubai's aviation sector will emerge stronger post the Covid-19 crisis.

"The united and collaborative efforts of Dubai's aviation sector partners have helped over 37,000 passengers return home on repatriation flights. We remain confident that Dubai's aviation sector will emerge from this crisis as an even stronger and more resilient community that is ready to reconnect the world and retain its leading position globally," said Sheikh Ahmed.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com



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