Emirates, Etihad prepare for summer amid delta Covid warnings – .

Emirates, Etihad prepare for summer amid delta Covid warnings – .

An Emirates Airline Boeing 777 at Sydney International Airport on May 1, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
James D. Morgan | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Emirates airline is bracing for an increase in summer travel over the next two weekends, despite growing concerns over the variant of the coronavirus delta responsible for more than a third of infections in the United Arab Emirates.
Emirates expects more than 450,000 passengers to travel to, to and through Dubai International Airport (DXB) Terminal 3 on more than 1,600 flights in the coming days.

“The busiest days for the airline will be the next two weekends, July 2-3 and July 9-10, although heavy passenger traffic is expected to start today and continue through July 12. Emirates said in a statement Wednesday.

Nearly 100,000 passengers will arrive in Dubai on Emirates flights to start their summer vacation during the same period, the airline added. The seasonal spike in travel comes as temperatures rise in the United Arab Emirates, where in July, the mercury can soar to 40 degrees Celsius (104.0 ° F) and above.

Emirates, one of the UAE’s two national airlines, plans to increase its flight capacity to 90% of pre-pandemic levels through July. Dubai Airports also reopened its Terminal 1 and Hall D on June 24, after a 15-month closure due to the pandemic.

“All Emirates and DXB touchpoints are fully prepared to handle the increase in passenger traffic, with measures and protocols in place designed to improve safety as customers move through Terminal 3,” Emirates said.

According to data from Heathrow Airport, more than half a million people are expected to transit through the United Arab Emirates in the next few days, which is almost equivalent to all of the passenger traffic from the airport. Heathrow in London in May this year.

An Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” flies Israeli and Emirati flags after landing on arrival from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on the first scheduled commercial flight to the company departing from Abu Dhabi, on April 6, 2021.
JACK GUEZ | AFP | Getty Images
Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi also decided to expand its “verified to fly” program on Wednesday. The program allows travelers to validate Covid-19 travel documents before arriving at the airport to improve passenger processing times.

“We understand these are tough times for travelers and this has been a key initiative in making our customers’ travel as easy as possible,” said John Wright, Etihad’s vice president for global airports and operations. network in a statement.

Delta concerns

The expected summer travel spree comes despite new warnings about the delta variant of the virus, with evidence showing that it is more transmissible, causes more hospitalizations and reduces vaccine effectiveness. The delta variant, first identified in India, accounts for 33.9% of cases in the United Arab Emirates, according to the UAE Ministry of Health.

The British variant accounts for 11.3% of cases, while the South African variant still has the highest infection rate at 39.2%. United Arab Emirates has reported 1,747 new cases of the virus mardi.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to reissue a Level 4 “Do not travel” warning for the United Arab Emirates on Monday, the highest possible category, citing concerns about the virus. The United Arab Emirates are also still on the “red list” for trips to the United Kingdom, where they have been listed since the end of January.

Britons living in the United Arab Emirates have expressed confusion and anger over the decision, particularly over the quarantine requirement of Red List hotels.

Forty percent of the UAE’s roughly 10 million people are now fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University. High local vaccination rates, new air routes, and easing restrictions on vacation hot spots have given locals and residents the confidence and desire to travel again, even amid warnings about dangerous variants of the route. coronavirus.

Emirates is committed to maintaining strict security measures for those who travel. The airline was one of the first in the world to pilot the IATA Travel Pass, which will be extended to all routes in its network in the coming weeks. Emirates has also partnered with Al Hosn, the UAE’s Covid tracking app, to support the safe movement of passengers.

“Emirates customers can travel with the confidence that the airline and its partners have spared no effort to make travel to the airport as safe and smooth as possible,” the airline said.


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