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Transport

Emirates airline resumes limited flights from DXB Terminal 3

Repatriation flights to take passengers to select European destinations

All departing passengers will undergo thermal scanning at DXB’s Terminal 3. Passengers are also reminded to bring their own face masks, gloves and abide by social distancing rules.

Emirates is set to resume passenger services from Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 from Sunday night (April 12) to select destinations.

It had previously been announced that a limited number of repatriation flights operated by the Dubai-based carrier would be undertaken from the airport’s Terminal 2.

Destinations include London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, and Zurich, with four flights per week for London and three for the other cities.

All departing passengers will undergo thermal scanning at DXB’s Terminal 3. Passengers are also reminded to bring their own face masks, gloves and abide by social distancing rules.

A statement from Dubai Airports said: “Aside from the aforementioned Emirates airline operations, only vital cargo and emergency evacuation flights will operate from DXB and DWC during this period.

“Dubai Airports continues to be fully committed to supporting the measures being taken to ensure the health and safety of our valued customers, our community and our employees.”​

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Transport

Covid-19:Etihad reveals 5 new cargo destinations on passenger aircraft

The flights are in addition to another 10 passenger freighter flights announced recently

Etihad Cargo has announced five additional routes in which it will use re-purposed Etihad Airways passenger aircraft to transport supplies between the UAE and major markets, the airline has announced.

The flights are in addition to another 10 passenger freighter flights announced recently.

Using belly-hold capacity on Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft, Etihad Cargo is now introducing services between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, Chennai, Kerala, Karachi and Amsterdam.

Previously, Etihad had announced passenger freighter flights to Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Riyadh.

Additionally, Etihad Cargo has also operated a series of special charter flights to carry urgent medical supplies from China and Hong Kong to destinations including Serbia, Greece, Chad, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Italy.

“Etihad Cargo is pleased to play a leading role in continuing to deliver essential supplies to the UAE, in this unprecedented environment,” said Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, the managing director, cargo and logistics at Etihad Aviation Group. “We are also playing our part in supporting international requirements for essential freight, carrying significant consignments of goods between other nations.”

With these additional flights Etihad Cargo will now operate over 90 turnaround flights a week to 29 destinations in 5 continents using the combined fleet of dedicated Boeing 777 freighters and Boeing 787 passenger aircraft.

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Transport

Covid-19: Etihad Airways to test self-service health assessment tech

Elenium Automation’s contactless devices will monitor temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, possibly detecting cases of Covid-19

The initial trial will be carried out at Abu Dhabi International airport from the end of April and throughout May, initially with a range of volunteers, and, as flights resume, outbound passengers.

Etihad Airways will trial new technology that could herald a change in how passengers around the world check-in to their flights.

Australian company Elenium Automation has developed a self-service device for airports that can help identify travellers with medical conditions, potentially including the early stages of Covid-19.

The new contactless devices will monitor temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate.

Etihad Airways will become the first airline to test Elenium’s new technology, which will automatically suspend the self-service check-in or bag drop process if a passenger’s vital signs indicate potential symptoms of illness.

The system diverts to a teleconference or alerts qualified staff on site, who can make further assessments and manage travellers as appropriate.

The initial trial will be carried out at Abu Dhabi International airport from the end of April and throughout May, initially with a range of volunteers, and, as flights resume, outbound passengers.

“This technology is not designed or intended to diagnose medical conditions,” Jorg Oppermann, vice president Hub and Midfield Operations, Etihad Airways, explained.

“It is an early warning indicator which will help to identify people with general symptoms, so that they can be further assessed by medical experts, potentially preventing the spread of some conditions to others preparing to board flights to multiple destinations.”

Oppermann said Etihad sees the new tech as another step towards ensuring that future viral outbreaks do not have the same devastating effect on the global aviation industry.

“It has long been the case that aircraft, with their highly sophisticated air-recycling systems and standards of hygiene are not the transmission vehicle for illnesses. We are testing this technology because we believe it will not only help in the current Covid-19 outbreak, but also into the future, with assessing a passenger’s suitability to travel and thus minimising disruptions,” he said.

Aaron Hornlimann, CEO and co-founder of Elenium Automation, said the company has lodged patents for both the automatic detection of illness symptoms at an aviation self-service touchpoint, and touchless self-service technology at an airport.

“The system would screen every individual, including multiple people on the same booking,” Hornlimann said.

“The technology can also be retrofitted into any airport kiosk or bag drop or installed as a desktop system at a passenger processing point such as an immigration desk. We believe the introduction of touchless self-service and automated health screening will encourage passengers to return to travel sooner.”

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Destinations

Dubai to close all eating outlets for two weeks; drive thru, deliveries to continue

Restaurants and cafes at hotels and hotel apartments serving their guests have been exempt

The ruling does not apply to restaurants and cafes at hotels and hotel apartments serving their guests (picture for illustrative purposes only). 

Dubai is to close all eating establishments, including restaurants, cafes, cafeterias coffee shops, for two weeks.

“In line with precautionary measures announced by MOHAP [Ministry of Health and Prevention] and NCEMA [National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority], Dubai Municipality announces the closure of all restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops and all establishments offering food services in shopping centers/malls, and all locations in Dubai and halted all their activities for 2 weeks starting from 23rd March 2020,” it was announced in a statement on Monday.

However, the ruling does not apply to restaurants and cafes at hotels and hotel apartments serving their guests.

Drive thru, food delivery and food transportation services will continue, the statement added.

In a statement issued by the state news agency WAM, it was announced on Monday that the UAE has decided to close all commercial centres, and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetables markets for a period of at least two weeks.

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Transport

UAE's GCAA denies rumours about flights being suspended

Emirates and Dubai Airports have also been forced to respond to rumours being spread on social media

Dubai Airports said that it “We can confirm that the rumours circulating on social media around the suspension of all flights to and from the UAE are untrue.”

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has refuted rumours circulating on social media that it has suspended all incoming and outgoing flights from the UAE as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

In a post on its official Twitter account, the GCAA said it “urges the public to refrain from spreading rumours and to obtain information from trusted sources”.

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) refuted rumors circulating on social media about the suspension of all incoming and outgoing flights. The GCAA urges the public to refrain from spreading rumors and to obtain information from trusted sources. pic.twitter.com/bU0Bw64tTt— GCAA UAE (@gcaauae) March 15, 2020

The statement follows similar announcements from Emirates and Dubai Airports, both of which were forced to deny rumours that they were stopping operations as a result of the pandemic.

Emirates, for example, tweeted that it “confirms that what is being circulated on social media that it will stop all flights from March 17 is nothing but pure rumours that are completely false.”

Emirates confirms that there is no truth to the rumors circulating on social media that the airline will be suspending all flights on 17 March. For latest flight updates please visit https://t.co/qZ7DQK19YZ— Emirates Airline (@emirates) March 15, 2020

Similarly, Dubai Airports said that it “We can confirm that the rumours circulating on social media around the suspension of all flights to and from the UAE are untrue.”

“Both DXB and DWC continue to welcome travellers from a number of countries,” the tweet added.

We can confirm that the rumours circulating on social media around the suspension of all flights to & from the UAE are untrue. Both DXB & DWC continue to welcome travellers from a number of countries. For the latest information on airport operations visit https://t.co/NfBA5GPTS6— Dubai Airports (@DubaiAirports) March 15, 2020

Currently, only passenger flights flights from Dubai to and from Bahrain, Iran, Italy (except Rome), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and China (except Beijing) have all been cancelled.

From Tuesday, March 17, flights to and from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey have also been cancelled.

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Destinations

UAE's Rotana inks deal to operate iconic Marrakech resort

Palmeraie Rotana Resort consists of the five-star Hotel du Golf Rotana, the Golf Club Rotana and the Palmeraie Palace

UAE-based Rotana has signed a management agreement to operate the iconic Palmeraie Resort in Morocco’s major economic centre Marrakech.

UAE-based Rotana has signed a management agreement to operate the iconic Palmeraie Resort in Morocco’s major economic centre Marrakech, under its new name, Palmeraie Rotana Resort.

Located in the heart of the famous palm oasis in Marrakech, Palmeraie Rotana Resort consists of the 315-room five-star Hôtel du Golf Rotana, the Golf Club Rotana with 11 exclusive suites and the 314-key Palmeraie Palace, for which a full refurbishment is currently being planned.

Palmeraie Rotana Resort also offers a conference centre, which can host up to 3,000 delegates, and 13 restaurants, in addition to a fitness centre and Zen the Spa at Rotana.

It also includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.

Guy Hutchinson, president and CEO, Rotana, said: “At Rotana, we continue to pursue market expansion and sustainable growth by extending our brand presence to new geographies. With this exceptional opportunity in Morocco, we have reached a new milestone in our journey to transform the region’s hospitality industry.”

Morocco’s tourism sector in 2019 recorded 13 million tourist arrivals, up 5.2 percent on the previous year. As the top tourist destination in the country, Marrakech received nearly 3 million tourists and recorded more than 8 million overnight stays last year.

Hutchinson added: “We will immediately deliver upgrades for the Hôtel du Golf Rotana, the Golf Club Rotana and other key components within the development. The Palmeraie Palace will remain unbranded until it undergoes a full renovation, which is currently in the early stages of planning.

“Our absolute focus however will be on improving the quality of operations, enhancing the product offerings and delivering a level of performance across the complex that will continue to enhance the fine reputation of this outstanding resort.”

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Transport

New Zealand authorities assessing sick passenger on Emirates flight

Auckland Airport said that a passenger on the Emirates flight ‘was unwell and the ill traveller protocol was triggered’

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardem announced that any foreigner – with the exception of Pacific islanders – would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in New Zealand.

New Zealand authorities rushed to respond to a sick passenger on board an Emirates aircraft in Auckland on Sunday.

In a statement, Auckland Airport said that a passenger on the Emirates flight – EK448 – “was unwell and the ill traveller protocol was triggered.”

“This protocol is a well-established multi-agency process to effecting monitor, assess and manage ill travellers arriving on planes and ships into New Zealand,” an airport spokeswoman was quoted as saying the New Zealand Herald.

The passenger is the hands of officials from New Zealand’s Ministry of Health.

Over the weekend, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardem announced that any foreigner – with the exception of Pacific islanders – would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in New Zealand.

She also discouraged citizens from travelling abroad unless essential, and said that the government and the police can enforce self-isolation.

Arabian Business has reached out to Emirates for comment.

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Destinations

Emaar stops taking bookings at three Dubai hotels

Emaar Hospitality has decided to ‘temporarily refocus on a selected number of assets’

Vida Emirates Hills

Emaar Hospitality will stop taking bookings at three hotels in Dubai for more than five months as it temporarily “refocuses” on certain assets amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, according to the company.

In a statement, an Emaar spokesperson said that “following the recent global impact on the travel industry drawing us into a state of force majeure, Emaar Hospitality Group has taken the decision to temporarily refocus on a selected number of assets”.

It is understood that the hotels are Address Fountain Views, Vida Creek Harbour and Vida Emirates Hills.

The decision will come into force on March 15 and last until August 31, the document said.

Restaurants, gyms and pools at the three locations will remain open, while guests will be rebooked at other Emaar properties in Dubai.

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Transport

Emirates airline increases cleaning measures to combat coronavirus spread

On average, 248 planes undergo a comprehensive cleaning and sterilisation within 24 hours

On average, 248 planes undergo a comprehensive cleaning and sterilisation within 24 hours. Image: Emirates

A team of 18 people work for an hour to clean, sterilise and prepare for the next Emirates flight.

While the Airbus A380 involves a team of 36 workers and the Dubai-based carrier employs a number of additional measures to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

In a statement, the company said it is subjecting all its planes departing from Dubai to precautionary measures that include “extensive and comprehensive” cleaning and sterilisation of all passenger compartments.

It said: “The cleaning process includes a comprehensive survey of all surfaces, from windows, tables, personal video screens, armrests, seats, seat controls, ventilation openings and upper cabinets in the cabin, to bathrooms, corridors, and the staff’s comfort areas, in addition to other routine procedures, such as changing headrest covers on all seats, print replacement and floor cleaning.”

On average, 248 planes undergo a comprehensive cleaning and sterilisation within 24 hours.

If a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus is discovered on board, the deep cleaning and disinfection process takes between six to eight hours and includes spraying the interior with antiseptic materials, and replacing seat covers and upholstery in the affected area. Air filters in the cabin are also replaced.

All Emirates aircraft are equipped with HEPA air filters capable of removing 99.97 percent of viruses, germs, fungi and dust, which makes the cabin atmosphere clean, safe and comfortable for passengers and crew.

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