United kingdom bans direct flights from UAE, shutting world’s busiest global route

LONDON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Britain is banning immediate passenger flights to and from the United Arab Emirates from Friday, shutting down the world’s busiest worldwide airline route from Dubai to London.

Britain reported it was introducing the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda to its coronavirus travel ban checklist because of problems more than the unfold of a more contagious and probably vaccine resistant COVID-19 variant initially recognized in South Africa.

“This means folks who have been in or transited via these nations will be denied entry, besides British, Irish and 3rd nation nationals with home rights who will have to self-isolate for ten times at household,” U.K. Transportation Minister Grant Shapps stated on Twitter on Thursday.

Emirates and Etihad Airways explained on their websites they would suspend all U.K. passenger flights from 1300 GMT on Friday when the ban usually takes influence.

The U.K. transport office encouraged British nationals at present in the United Arab Emirates to make use of indirect business airline routes if they wished to return to Britain.

Dubai to London was the world’s busiest intercontinental route in January with 190,365 scheduled seats over the month, in accordance to airline data company OAG.

Emirates and Etihad ordinarily have massive figures of travellers connecting from Britain to places like Australia via their airport hubs, which means the selection to terminate those people flights will have significantly-achieving implications.

The Australian govt stated it will include more charter flights from Britain if essential as a end result of the Emirates and Etihad cancellations.

Eran Ben-Avraham, an Australian stranded in Britain thanks to rigid limits on the variety of arrivals in Australia, explained his alternatives for getting dwelling had been continually shrinking.

“At the second it is only supplying us 3 solutions of flying Qatar, ANA or Singapore Airways,” he informed the Australian Broadcasting Company. “Every day it is earning it extra complicated to get residence. The flights again are anywhere from like 4,000 lbs ($5,487).”

Reporting by William James in London and Jamie Freed in Sydney added reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne Modifying by William Schomberg, Karishma Singh and Jane Wardell