Etihad Airways has announced temporary changes to its route network in the interest of safety.
The UAE airline has released a statement regarding its consolidated network changes, which follows on from a number of travel and tourism updates across the Emirates.
According to WAM, the airline statement said: “Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and its continuing impact on air travel services globally, Etihad Airways continues to follow UAE and international government and regulatory authority directives and has implemented a series of consolidated network changes.”
The changes implemented by Etihad Airways are said to be in the interest of the “safety and convenience” of travellers and employees, with efforts to “minimise operational disruption” during this turbulent period.
Changes to Etihad flights
In the statement from Etihad Airways, the following flight changes were noted:
- All flights to Milan have been suspended until 30th April
- Flights to Rome (EY85/86) are suspended until 30th April and flights to Rome (EY83/84) were suspended until 30th June.
- All flights for Istanbul, Beirut, Casablanca and Rabat will be suspended from March 16th to March 31st.
- All flights for Amman, Madrid and Barcelona will be suspended from 17th March to 31st March
- All flights for Hong Kong have been suspended until 30th June
- As previously announced by the airline, there will be suspension of all flights for Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Medina, and Kuwait up until 31st March.
- All Shanghai flights continue to be suspended until 28th March, while all Chengdu flights remain suspended until further notice.
- All Nagoya flights continued to be suspended until 30th June.
Destinations with reduced flights
- Jakarta flights will be reduced from double-daily to daily, with the suspension of flights EY472/471, from 18th March until 30th June.
- Flights for Seoul will be reduced from daily to four flights per week – operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays – this will come into effect from 30th March until 30th April.
- Bangkok flights will be reduced from triple-daily to double-daily, with the suspension of flights EY406/405, from 21st March to 2nd May.
- Bahrain and Muscat flights have been reduced from triple-daily to double-daily until 31st March.
As the world tries to navigate through unchartered territory during the cornoavirus pandemic, Etihad Airways has said that further changes may occur due to government directives in key markets.
The airline statement said, “Etihad Airways is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and overseas and is continuing to monitor this situation closely.”
How will Etihad Airways respond to passenger concerns?
The airline has been clear that there are procedures in place for passengers who require fare refunds or flight changes – when flight services resume.
Etihad Airways tweeted, “our Contact Centres are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and long waits. As a result, we are asking guests who are impacted by travel restrictions to only call if their flights are scheduled within the next 48 hours”.
Due to the current situation, “Contact Centres are currently experiencing significant congestion and long waits. The immediate priority is to assist those guests with imminent travel.”
Etihad Airways is encouraging passengers to stay up-to-date with the latest information using the airline’s latest COVID-19 travel updates link.