UAE-based carrier Emirates has temporarily stopped services to New York due to unfavourable weather conditions, while services to South Africa and Sao Paulo have been suspended in view of COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
The long-haul operator, which was among the first airlines in the Gulf to resume international flights in the middle of last year, has recently been suspending operations on select routes mainly due to the pandemic.
Early this month, it temporarily halted services to Hong Kong for two weeks following a directive from the Asian state. Last week, it stopped transporting passengers to all UK points after the British government imposed a travel ban. It had also previously suspended flights to South Africa until February 4.
The airline said the suspension of operations to South Africa has just been extended until February 12, “in line with recent government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa into the UAE”.
“Customers holding tickets with final destinations in South Africa will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin. Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused,” the airline said.
The UAE has recently updated its entry requirements for incoming travellers. In Dubai, all inbound passengers will now be required to take a PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure.
The suspension of services between Dubai and Sao Paulo takes effect today and will last until February 10. The airline operated its last flight on the route yesterday, January 31.
As for the Dubai to New York route, Emirates flights EK203 and EK204 from JFK International Airport are cancelled effective today.
New York-bound flights from Dubai, however, will continue to operate but with delayed timings, the airline said.
Since travel restrictions eased after the global lockdown last year, Emirates had redeployed its fleet to approximately 100 destinations worldwide. It had previously aimed to restore services to 143 cities by summer this year.
Airlines have been among the worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic due to plunging passenger traffic, with estimated losses amounting to billions of US dollars.