Emirates Airlines is the lifeline for the Gulf, India, and Africa in connecting people from every corner of the world. The airline is essential for many tourism economies. Emirates not flying will be shutting down tourism economies, specifically in Africa, India, Indian Ocean. Such economies are already shut down for the most part and this will be effective enforcement.
This became reality today, at least for all passenger travel when the Dubai based airline announced that it will stop all passenger flights due to the threat of coronavirus infection. Emirates planes will continue to carry out air cargo flights, as well as charter flights for the removal of people from the UAE.
“From March 25 on, despite the fact that we will continue to carry freight that remains busy, Emirates will temporarily suspend passenger traffic,” said CEO and chairman of the Emirates Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Emirates is a state-owned airline based in Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is owned by the government of Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from its hub at Dubai International Airport, to more than 150 cities in 80 countries across six continents. Cargo activities are undertaken by Emirates SkyCargo.
Emirates is the world’s fourth-largest airline by scheduled revenue passenger-kilometers flown, and the second-largest in terms of freight ton-kilometers flown.
The African Tourism Board was the first travel and tourism association to praise this move. Cuthbert Ncube, the chairman said: “Emirates always has been a driver and trendsetter. We welcome Emirates move to shut down passenger travel. It will help our people, and ensure the quick re-bound of our industry after we all go through this important test. We’re looking forward to welcoming the Dubai carrier back in full force after we all go through this nightmare. We also are pleased to understand Emirates will continue cargo flights, what is now s important to keep Africa functioning.”