Etihad Flights To Remain Grounded Until At Least 16th May

Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways will not resume regular flights until 16th May, keeping majority of it's fleet grounded in Abu Dhabi. 

Etihad's Flight To Remain Grounded Until 16th May
Etihad to resume suspend regular flights until 15th May Photo: Etihad

The carrier initially suspended all regular flights in March. However, the suspension continued in April as well. The carrier operated handful of repatriation flights along with cargo flights.

The carrier had previously aimed to partially resume regular flights by 1st of May. However, the airline now expects to resume scheduled flights no earlier than 16th May.

Etihad's regular flight resumption will mainly depend on the UAE government lifting the restrictions it imposed back in March. However, the carrier is working closely with the government and regulators to resume operations as soon as possible.

Etihad and other UAE airlines have been operating outbound-only flights for those who want to leave the Arabian state.The Arabian state had banned the entry of passengers from abroad due to the outbreak of global corona virus. 

Etihad's Flight To Remain Grounded Until 16th May
The carrier was planning to resume regular flights from 1st of May Photo: Etihad

An Etihad spokeswoman said in a statement:

"While Etihad hoped to resume a reduced network of scheduled passenger service from 1 May, subject to UAE government-imposed travel restrictions being lifted, the airline will now delay this plan until at least 16 May, due to the ongoing situation."

"This decision is being taken early to avoid potential disruption to customers wishing to travel during that period, and for their safety and well-being."

The carrier had planned to gradually increase its flight operations from May 1st, as said on 16th April, 2020. The carrier was planning to return into full service gradually afterwards, subject to government regulations.

Etihad's Flight To Remain Grounded Until 16th May
Etihad is currently operating special repatriation and cargo flights only Photo: Etihad

As of now, Etihad along with other UAE based airlines operate a number of repatriation as well as cargo flights, while its scheduled passenger service is completely halted.

"Some flights remain bookable from May 16, however as the current suspension remains in place, this situation may change and Etihad will communicate any changes in due course," the company said.

Until May 15, Etihad is going to continue special repatriation flights from Abu Dhabi to 14 destinations across Europe, Asia-Pacific and a flight to Chicago.

Etihad Airways has now operated over 500 such special flights between March 25 and April 16. This number includes both passenger and cargo flights.

Etihad's Flight To Remain Grounded Until 16th May
Etihad has announced further special flights to 14 destinations Photo: Etihad

Last week on 24th April, the Abu-Dhabi based carrier announced a new round of repatriation flights from Abu Dhabi to the 14 destinations.

The destinations included on the latest list include flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussela, Frankfurt, London and Zurich in Europe along with a special flight to Chicago.

Similarly, it will also operate flights to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo Narita in Asia-Pacific region originating from its hub in Abu Dhabi.

These flight would allow only foreign nations in the UAE to travel out of the country. These flights will also allow Etihad to carry in-bound cargo and vital medical supplies.

Etihad's Flight To Remain Grounded Until 16th May
Etihad is operating several cargo flights Photo: Etihad

The airline also made it clear that the return flights are also repatriating UAE nations back home.

What are your thoughts on this latest update? Are you planning to be on board one of these repatriation flight? Let us know in the comments below: