Emirates has reversed its initial decision to suspend all passenger flights from March 25 in order to contain the coronavirus.
The airline said it will now operate passenger flights to the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, USA and Canada.
The management of the airline initially announced that from March 25, passenger operations would be suspended but that cargo operations would continue to provide critical logistics as the world battles to contain the coronavirus.
But less than two hours later, it said it had to reconsider its decision after pleas from some countries not to suspend all flights.
“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries reopen their borders, and travel confidence returns.
“Having received requests from governments and customers to support repatriation of travellers, Emirates will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to few countries until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand.
“We will operate passenger flights to UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, USA & Canada. The situation remains dynamic; travellers can check flight status online.
“We will continue to watch the situation closely, and will reinstate our temporarily suspended passenger services, as soon as feasible. These are unprecedented times for the airline and travel industry, but we will get through it with your support,” Ahmed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chief Executive Officer, said in the statement.
The long-haul carrier, which operates more than 1,800 flights out of its main hub in Dubai every week, flies to more than 140 destinations in over 80 countries.