COVID-19: Sharjah Airport prepares to receive stranded UAE residents

As the government briefs the travel industry about its quarantine plans, Britain’s biggest budget airline has announced the cancellation of most of its summer flights.

Up to Monday, a majority of easyJet’s planned departures were shown as operating. But the reservations database has now been filleted, leaving just three out of 10 of the original schedule still flying.

Its larger rival, Ryanair, plans to operate nine out of 10 routes but only 40 per cent of its planned services.

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In common with some other airlines, easyJet is starting up a small network in mid-June – almost all of which is made up of domestic services.

In July, easyJet plans to operate on half of its network of 1,022 routes, increasing to three-quarters in August.

But the Luton-based carrier is drastically cutting back on frequencies. As a result, 70 per cent of flights between July and September will be grounded.

Robert Carey, easyJet’s chief commercial and planning officer, said: “We are delighted to announce that we will be flying the majority of our route network across Europe, meaning customers can still get to their chosen destination for their summer holidays this year.”

Under European air passengers’ rights rules, an airline that cancels a flight must offer the affected travellers a choice between a full cash refund and a suitable alternative departure.

For many passengers with arrangements booked in their destination, the latter is likely to be the best option.

Dubai: Sharjah International Airport is ready to welcome UAE residents stranded abroad due to coronavirus restrictions.

“We have completed all preparations to receive stranded UAE residents from abroad. The airport ensures it taking all precautionary measures in compliance with international standards, to guarantee the health and safety of travellers, customers, and employees, says a statement issued by the airport.

Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority said: “Along with our partners and other entities, the airport has completed all the necessary preparations to receive residents who have been stranded abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. All organisational and operational procedures to ensure the safety of passengers and staff will be adhered to at all times.”

“We are delighted to be able to help return residents to their own homes and reunite them with family and friends. We can only imagine how difficult it must have been to stay away from their loved ones. We will continue our efforts to welcome more residents and families back to the comfort and safety of their homes,” he added.

UAE airlines have started bringing back stranded UAE residents from selected cities from around the world with effect from June 1.

Airport officials also held a series of meetings to discuss and implement the various safety procedures that have been set by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, to ensure health and safety at all airports in the region.

Sharjah Airport Authority continues to carry out daily precautionary cleansing procedures, which includes the implementation of continuous sterilisation works across all airport facilities, aircraft, freight planes and entrance and departure areas.

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