Over the past week, Etihad Airways has been operating special flights which have allowed stranded passengers to return home, and to support the ‘UAE Food Security Program’ as part of previously announced plans to utilize belly-hold capacity of passenger aircraft for cargo.
In a statement, the airline said: “These services give citizens of other nations who are unable to leave the UAE due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the opportunity to fly home. In some instances, Etihad has also been able to repatriate UAE citizens, and carry fresh produce as belly-hold cargo, on the return segments back to Abu Dhabi.
“To date, these services have covered a number of destinations, including the United States, Australia, and Sri Lanka.
“All of these operations have been approved by the UAE Government and we continue to work closely with the authorities on the continuation of these types of operations, with a view to expanding the number of flights on the basis of approaches from a number of foreign governments.”
Etihad will continue to offer such services, and from 5 April, will operate a regular service to a number of destinations starting with Seoul Incheon, and following with others such as Melbourne, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Amsterdam. These destinations are subject to government approvals.