Emirates suspends all passenger flights due to coronavirus

22 March 2020, 13:46

Emirates is suspending all passenger flights
Emirates is suspending all passenger flights. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Emirates has announced it is suspending all passenger flights from Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline will still continue with its SkyCargo.

Currently, Emirates serves 161 destinations in 85 countries, meaning key routes of travel have now been cut off as Covid-19 continues to spread.

A statement read: "This painful but pragmatic move will help Emirates Group preserve business viability and secure jobs worldwide, avoiding cuts.

"We deeply apologize to our customers for the travel disruptions and inconvenience caused. We are committed to minimize impact to our customers.

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Emirates operates in 85 countries
Emirates operates in 85 countries. Picture: PA

"We will continue to watch the situation closely, and will reinstate our passenger services, as soon as feasible.

"These are unprecedented times for the airline & travel industry, but we will get through it with your support."

Emirates now joins a growing number of airlines which have suspended flights while the pandemic continues.

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The airline has previously said that it will cut 50 per cent of employees salaries, but will not cut jobs.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the CEO of Emirates Group, said: "The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint.

"Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past 6 weeks.

"Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”