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

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

Britain mentioned it was introducing the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda to its coronavirus travel ban listing for the reason that of worries in excess of the spread of a far more contagious and potentially vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variant initial recognized in South Africa.

“This suggests folks who have been in or transited by way of these nations will be denied entry, other than British, Irish and 3rd region nationals with residence legal rights who should self-isolate for ten times at dwelling,” U.K. Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Twitter on Thursday.

On its website, Emirates reported it would suspend all U.K. passenger flights from 1300 GMT, when the ban can take effect. Etihad Airways mentioned it would only suspend flights to Britain, with people from the U.K. remaining unaffected.

In a statement, Dubai airport encouraged those people booked on flights thanks to arrive in Britain soon after the ban not to go to the airport and as an alternative get in touch with their airline.

Britain’s transportation office suggested nationals now in the UAE to use oblique professional routes to fly back to Britain.

Border closures induced by COVID-19 produced Dubai to London the world’s busiest international route in January, with 190,365 scheduled seats above the thirty day period, airline information service provider OAG explained.

Emirates and Etihad usually carry massive numbers of travellers connecting from Britain to places like Australia as a result of their airport hubs, that means the final decision to cancel those flights will have significantly-achieving implications.

The Australian authorities said it will incorporate much more constitution flights from Britain if necessary as a final result of the Emirates and Etihad cancellations.

Eran Ben-Avraham, an Australian stranded in Britain because of to demanding restrictions on the variety of arrivals in Australia, explained his alternatives for getting home were frequently shrinking.

“At the instant it is only offering us three selections of flying Qatar, ANA or Singapore Airways,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Every day it is creating it a lot more challenging to get dwelling. The flights back are everywhere from like 4,000 pounds ($5,487).”

(This story corrects paragraph 1 to exhibit ban addresses flights “from” United Arab Emirates not “to and from”, fixes grammar in paragraph 4)

Reporting by William James in London and Jamie Freed in Sydney extra reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne, Alexander Cornwell in Dubai Editing by William Schomberg, Karishma Singh and Jane Wardell