Emirates to suspend most passenger flights due to coronavirus pandemic
Photo: Krafft Angerer/Getty Images
Emirates, one of the largest long-haul airlines in the world, retracted its announcement Sunday temporarily suspending all passenger flights, now saying it will defer "most" routes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The big picture: Airlines have been reducing flights at unprecedented rates in order to stop the spread of the virus and as a result of low demand.
- The carrier will still fly to the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Australia and Canada, a reversal after receiving requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travelers, AP reports.
- The Dubai government-owned Emirates, which is the largest airline in the Middle East, said its employees will receive up to 50% salary reduction for three months, but that it will not cut jobs.
What they're saying:
"The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past 6 weeks."
"Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”— Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Emirates Group
Editor's note: This story has been updated to note Emirates' change from "all" passenger flight cancellations to "most."