Coronavirus in UAE: 32 Britons, 26 Americans repatriated

flydubai flight repatriates, coronavirus in uae, covid19 fight in uae, covid19 in UK

Abu Dhabi - On Saturday, flydubai FZ1749 flew to Croatia, and from there, another flight flew to London.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 28 Mar 2020, 6:33 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Mar 2020, 9:58 AM

The UK and US embassies, in coordination with the local authorities, facilitated the passage of their citizens back home despite suspension of flights following the Covid-19 outbreak. About 32 Britons and 26 Americans, who were unable to travel back due to restrictions, were repatriated on a special flight.

Patrick Moody, the British Ambassador to the UAE, said British nationals had departed on a flydubai flight. Earlier this week, the airline had also flown out 101 passengers, including 78 Pakistanis to Islamabad.

On Saturday, flydubai FZ1749 flew to Zagreb, Croatia, and from there, another connecting flight flew to London. The mission noted that some airlines are granted permission to fly, but urged Britons not to leave for the airport without a booking.

"To the all British visitors in the UAE and who want to return to the UK urgently, we are working very hard with the local authorities to find a solution. To all residents here, let's keep playing our part in keeping the UAE safe from this virus. And stay at home," Moody said.

"Many of you are awaiting refunds following the cancellation of flights. My team is speaking to airlines to emphasise how urgent this is."

In cases of emergency, people can contact 24/7 helpline number 026101100 and alternatively send details to . "We will update you about flights to get you home," Moody added.

US envoy hails UAE generosity  

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi managed to secure the passage of 26 US citizens, including four children. The passengers flew on an Etihad Airways flight from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, John Rakolta Jr., the US Ambassador to the UAE said.

Rakolta Jr. recognised the generosity of the UAE government, which made available a special flight.

"There is no greater duty for a US embassy than the protection of US citizens abroad. The Embassy of the United States in the UAE is deeply grateful to Etihad Airways for facilitating the repatriation of US citizens who were unable to travel due to the coronavirus outbreak."

Rakolta Jr and wife Terry Rakolta met the Americans at the airport to wish them safe travel home.
These are however exceptional gestures as the UAE has suspended all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of passengers till April 7.

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