Emirates to Suspend Nearly All Passenger Operations
By Harvey Chipkin
Emirates, the world’s largest long-haul airline, will suspend nearly all of its passenger operations this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Flights to most destinations will cease beginning March 25. Services to 13 countries, including Australia, the US, UK, Switzerland and Singapore will continue for the time being in response to requests from governments to support repatriation of citizens of those countries. Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO, said the carrier cannot viably operate passenger services until countries reopen their borders and travel confidence returns. He said some competitors or even supply chain partners may not survive the crisis. The airline had been operating more than 500 flights a day with a fleet of all wide-body aircraft. Until January, said Sheikh Ahmed, the Emirates Group was doing well against current financial year targets, "but COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks."