Why did Emirates suspend flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and how will this impact Australians stuck overseas during coronavirus?


Emirates has suspended flights to three Australian cities, stranding hundreds of Australians in the process.

From Tuesday next week, the airline will stop flying to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane indefinitely.

There were already fewer flights than normal coming into Australia due to the coronavirus-induced border closure, and caps on the number of passengers allowed on the planes that are still flying here to ease pressure on the nation’s quarantine facilities.

So why has Emirates decided to suspend three of its routes?

Why did Emirates suspend flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane?

For now, Emirates has said the decision was due to “operational reasons”.

The airline has said it “remains committed to Australia and continues to operate twice-weekly flights to/from Perth”.

We don’t have any more information about the reasoning behind the decision beyond that.

A week ago, National Cabinet temporarily slashed the cap on international passengers in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia due to the threat of the new COVID-19 strain from the UK, while Victoria was already operating at a lower capacity after its outbreak.

New in-flight and in-airport measures on passengers and aircrews were also implemented.

What will happen to the people who already had Emirates flights booked?

Emirates’ last flights to and from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are as follows:

  • Dubai-Melbourne — EK408/January 19
  • Melbourne-Dubai — EK409/January 20
  • Dubai-Sydney — EK414/January 18
  • Sydney-Dubai — EK415/January 19
  • Dubai-Brisbane — EK430/January 16
  • Brisbane-Dubai — EK431/January 1

The airline has said customers who already have Emirates tickets with the final destination of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane won’t be accepted for travel at their point of origin unlessthey’re booked onto one of the above flights.

Emirates said it “regrets any inconvenience caused”.

Travellers impacted by the suspension have been told to contact their travel agent or the Emirates contact centre directly for rebooking options.

The airline added: “To receive updated notifications, customers are requested to ensure their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking.”

How will this impact people stuck abroad?

Australians stuck overseas were already dealing with a smaller than usual number of flights and caps, making travel to Australia difficult during the pandemic.

More than 37,000 Australians are stuck overseas at the moment.

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Federal Government announces 20 more repatriation flights for stranded Australians.

But the Government has said Emirates’ decision to suspend flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane won’t have a net impact on the number of available seats on flights to Australia.

That’s because they’re planning on reallocating spaces left by Emirates’ sudden decision to other airlines operating in the region.

The Government’s also just announced plans to schedule another 20 repatriation flights to bring stranded Australians home.

Acting Foreign Minister Simon Birmingham said at a press conference today: “We want to see the cap utilised across the states and territories and our additional flights are going to create additional places over and above that cap.”

Those lucky enough to nab a seat on one of the flights will either be taken to the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory or to similar accommodation in Canberra and Tasmania to quarantine.

When will Emirates start flying to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane again?

We don’t know the answer to this yet either.

The airline has said the decision is “indefinite”.

When contacted for comment, Emirates pointed the ABC to this statement on its website.

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Penny Wong says Emirates announcement is “devastating news”.

Thanks for dropping by and checking this news article regarding current National News titled “Why did Emirates suspend flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and how will this impact Australians stuck overseas during coronavirus?”. This news article was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

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Cycling-Tour champion Pogacar and UAE Emirates mates first team to get COVID-19 vaccine





FILE PHOTO: Cycling – Tour de France – Stage 21 – Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris Champs-Elysees – France – September 20, 2020. UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia celebrates on the podium, after winning the general classification and the overall leader’s yellow jersey. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

January 8, 2021

(Reuters) – Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar and his UAE Emirates team mates has been vaccinated against COVID-19 at a training camp in Abu Dhabi, the team said on Friday.

“The riders and staff of the Tour de France 2020 winning team UAE Team Emirates have taken the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG,” UAE Emirates said in a statement.

“A total of 27 riders, including the Tour de France 2020 winner Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar, plus 32 staff have now received the vaccine.”

They are the first professional cycling team to be vaccinated.

Among those vaccinated was Colombian Fernando Gaviria, who last October became one of the rare patients to have had the disease twice.

The pandemic forced the 2020 cycling season to shut down for four-and-a-half months before resuming in August, with Pogacar ending up winning the Tour in September.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Robert Birsel)




Thanks for reading this story on current World sports and related news called “Cycling-Tour champion Pogacar and UAE Emirates mates first team to get COVID-19 vaccine”. This story was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our World sports news services.

#CyclingTour #champion #Pogacar #UAE #Emirates #mates #team #COVID19 #vaccine



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The United Arab Emirates is trying to rebrand its image by making changes to its ‘antiquated’ legal system


Like many expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Australian Frances McGregor thinks Dubai is a modern and glamorous place to call home.

This is a city that boasts the world’s tallest building, the world’s largest shopping mall, a water park just for dogs, and traffic jams comprised entirely of luxury European cars.

It has long sold itself to Westerners as a liberal outpost in the Middle East, where you could wear bikinis on the beach and drink in bars and restaurants.

But for Ms McGregor, the case of a young Filipina waitress who was raped on her way home from work punctured that glittering facade.

Australian Frances McGregor says she still remembers a case in the UAE where a victim was treated like the criminal.(ABC News: Shaikh Saleh)

The woman reported what happened to police but ended up being jailed the next day. Ms McGregor, whose company employed the woman, tried to intervene.

“So the victim there was treated like the criminal.”

The woman had been jailed for breaking a ban on sex outside of marriage, one of many women in the Gulf state who were charged after reporting sexual assault, according to human rights groups.

The laws made headlines in 2016, when a British woman was charged in Dubai after reporting her own rape. The case was later dropped after an international outcry.

The UAE also forbid couples from living together or even sharing a hotel room if they were not married.

But now, sex outside marriage is no longer a criminal offence in the UAE — unless it is adultery, which remains a serious crime.

The change was part of a major shakeup of personal and family law announced suddenly by the UAE’s Government in November.

Construction workers on a roof in a desert locale
About 90 per cent of people in Dubai are foreigners, many of them low paid workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan.(Reuters: Christopher Pike)

What triggered this progressive overhaul is unclear, but it may be an attempt to lure back the foreign workers who fled the Gulf state in droves due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Low paid foreign workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan may be willing to go back to toil on construction sites and as maids in private homes.

But UAE authorities — who are preparing to host a deferred World Expo in 2021 — appear worried rich Westerners may not return.

‘To have such antiquated laws, it just doesn’t match’

Despite Dubai and Abu Dhabi being flashy, modern cities, the UAE had a conservative legal system based on Islamic law.

But Dubai residents say proposed changes to the country’s laws are a significant shift.

“Dubai is a really fast-moving, forward-thinking, progressive city and to have such antiquated laws, it just doesn’t match,” Ms McGregor said.

“So they have to do something to operate in a global market, get foreign investors.”

A fake mountain-like rock is seen behind a string of women in black hijabs watching on as their children climb the rock.
The UAE has largely maintained its status as a desirable destination for expats and investors.(Reuters: Satish Kumar)

Among the reforms are changes to personal and family laws which will allow foreigners to settle divorce and inheritance using the laws of their home country.

It was welcomed by expatriates, who make up nearly 90 per cent of the UAE’s population, and comes after years of high-profile cases of expatriates falling foul of the arcane system.

These include the jailing of Australian property executives Matt Joyce and Marcus Lee for fraud charges, of which they were later acquitted.

The pandemic saw a mass exodus of expats

The UAE has largely maintained its status as a desirable destination for expats and investors despite these incidents.

A man in a dishdashi sitting in an ice bar with a drink in his gloved hand
Alcohol will be decriminalised as part of reforms designed to make UAE more attractive to foreigners.(Reuters: Ahmed Jadallah)

But many have lost their jobs in the coronavirus downturn, with economic forecasts predicting things will get worse.

The UAE recently introduced a retiree visa in a bid to attract new foreign residents.

Lawyer Radha Stirling, who founded the advocacy group Detained in Dubai, said the fear of losing expats and investors has triggered the legal reforms.

“It’s a marketing facade,” she said.

Other changes — such as removing a prohibition on having alcohol in your bloodstream in public and decriminalising suicide — will also benefit the UAE’s residents.

“I think it really shows an open-mindedness for this country and it shows that it’s really looking at the people who are living here,” said Majella Skansebakken, an Australian who has lived with her family in Dubai for four years.

“It’s accepting them and it’s respecting them.”

A woman wearing a black and white top smiles with her arms around two kids outside a house.
Majella Skansebakken, an Australian who has lived with her family in Dubai for four years, says the changes to the laws show “open-mindedness”.(ABC News: Shaikh Saleh)

The UAE has also increased penalties for sexual harassment and domestic violence in a bid to improve the treatment of women and also removed ‘defending family honour’ as a legal defence for the assault of women.

But it may have to do more to reverse years of negative attention on this issue.

Just this year, a 32-year-old British woman working for a literary festival alleged the UAE’s Minister for Tolerance had sexually assaulted her at a business meeting on a private island.

He denied the allegations and was not charged.

How Princesses helped expose the UAE’s dark side

Women within the Royal family have also been coming forward with their own complaints about abuse.

While the UAE Government said these incidents related to “private family issues”, they have highlighted problems for Emirati women in particular.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum and his wife Princess Haya walk towards the paddock dressed for the races.
A legal battle between the powerful ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife led to a showdown in a London courtroom.(AP: Alastair Grant, File)

In 2018, the Emirate of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum allegedly used Emirati and Indian commandos to kidnap his daughter, Princess Latifa, when she tried to escape the country on a yacht.

Sheikh Mohammed said Latifa was now “safe in the loving care of her family and had never been arrested or detained”.

But her case is being investigated by the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

Then came the shock departure of Princess Haya, Sheikh Mohammed’s sixth wife, who fled to London with their two children.

She went on to win a high-profile lawsuit where London’s High Court heard evidence about his treatment of his female children.

Princess Haya laughs during interview
Princess Haya bint al-Hussein is the daughter of Jordan’s late King Hussein.(Reuters)

The judge eventually ruled Sheikh Mohammed had kidnapped Latifa and another daughter, Shamsa, and continues to detain them.

Another Royal, Princess Zeynab, recently livestreamed a police raid on her house after a marital dispute.

Lawyer Radha Stirling said the high-profile cases showed that even if laws protected women, the prevailing culture ensured they were not followed.

“They’re not setting a good example.”



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Phone service between United Arab Emirates, Israel begins as diplomatic ties open – National


Telephone service between the United Arab Emirates and Israel began working Sunday as the two countries open diplomatic ties, part of a deal brokered by the U.S. that required Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex West Bank land sought by the Palestinians for a future state.

Associated Press journalists in Jerusalem and Dubai were able to call each other from both landline and cellular phones registered to Israel’s country code +972 from around 1:15 p.m.

Read more:
Anti-Netanyahu protests resume in Israel despite historic deal with UAE

Over an hour later, Emirati officials acknowledged that Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan had called his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi.

Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Handel issued a statement “congratulating the United Arab Emirates on removing the blocks.”

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“Many economic opportunities will open now, and these trust-building steps are an important step toward advancing states’ interests,” Handel said.

Also Sunday, Israeli news websites that had previously been blocked by UAE authorities, like the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and YNet, could be accessed without using means to bypass internet filtering in the Emirates.






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In the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula, a recorded message in Arabic and English would typically play prior to Sunday saying calls to +972 numbers could not be connected. The advent of internet calling allowed people to get around the ban, though these too were often interrupted.

Some in Israel used Palestinian mobile phone numbers with +970 numbers, which those in the UAE could call.

Read more:
Iran says United Arab Emirates could see a ‘dangerous future’ after deal with Israel

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The connection of phone service represents the first concrete sign of the deal between the Emiratis and Israelis.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced Thursday they are establishing full diplomatic relations in the U.S.-brokered accord.

The historic deal delivered a key foreign policy victory to U.S. President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election and reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians.






Hezbollah leader calls UAE-Israel peace agreement a political favour for Trump


Hezbollah leader calls UAE-Israel peace agreement a political favour for Trump

The agreement will make the UAE the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to have full, active diplomatic ties with Israel. The countries announced it in a joint statement, saying deals between Israel and the UAE were expected in the coming weeks in such areas as tourism, direct flights and embassies.

Early Sunday, the Emirates’ state-run WAM news agency announced a UAE company had signed an agreement with an Israeli company for research and study of the coronavirus pandemic.

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© 2020 The Canadian Press





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The president of Emirates says passengers will never again be as comfortable as they have been aboard the enormous, discontinued Airbus A380


Emirates Airbus A380

Emirates

  • Emirates, the glitzy Gulf airline, plans to operate passenger flights using Airbus A380s for the first time since the pandemic led the airline to ground the fleet.

  • The airline plans to replace the aging A380 fleet with Boeing 777X aircraft, the first of which is expected to be delivered in 2022.

  • However, Sir Tim Clark, the airline’s president, told Business Insider that nothing will measure up to the passenger experience on board the A380.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As airlines around the world ground their Airbus A380 fleets during the global coronavirus pandemic — some permanently — one airline stands in stark contrast: Emirates.

With a price tag of $445.6 million and room for up to 800 passengers, the four-engine, two-deck behemoth is the largest passenger plane ever built. The first unit entered service in 2007, which some observers have said was decades too late.

Airbus has said it will halt production of the A380 in 2021, with just 251 delivered.

For Emirates, however, the A380 has been the perfect aircraft. As other carriers move to a smaller, nimbler point-to-point system, Emirates has made the “superjumbo” jet a staple of its global long-haul hub-and-spoke system, carrying up to about 600 passengers at a time split between three cabins.

Emirates has also taken advantage of the plane’s enormous size to build its brand as an ultra-glamourous luxury airline.

“It defined us, in many respects,” Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said in an interview with Business Insider. “We’ve spent an inordinate amount on product, both in-flight and on the ground, and that’s really paid off.”

Emirates Tim Clark
Emirates Tim Clark

AP

Clark, who has worked in the airline business since the early 1970s, helped found Emirates in 1985 as its head of planning.

In addition to its 115 A380s, the airline has more than 130 Boeing 777s in its fleet.

However, the A380 is a major part of what helped Emirates earn its current market share and reputation.

Among other features, Emirates introduced walk-up bars for first- and business-class passengers, enclosed first class suites, and even a shower that first class passengers could use during the flight.

Although the A380 is currently grounded due to the pandemic, Clark said that the airline plans to bring them back into service — the first A380s will begin flying this week — and keep them in use for as long as possible.

“Hopefully, we’ll see them flying for at least another 10 years,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s not being produced. So there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll keep it going as long as we can.”

For after that, Emirates has orders for about 115 of Boeing’s next-generation wide-body jet, the 777X, primarily the larger 777-9X. as well as smaller 787 Dreamliners.

An onboard bar of an Airbus A380 is pictured during a delivery ceremony of Emirates' 100th Airbus A380
An onboard bar of an Airbus A380 is pictured during a delivery ceremony of Emirates’ 100th Airbus A380

REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Despite the new plane’s technology and efficiency advancements, Clark says it simply won’t measure up to the A380 from the passenger’s perspective.

“We will have some very good products on the -9X,” Clark said. “But to be quite honest, nothing is going to be as good.”

“How could it be as good as the A380 on the upper deck, or as good as it is in economy with 10-abreast seating on the main deck,” he added. “It’s palatial. And people absolutely love it. They still go out of their way to get on the 380.”

Clark said that the 777X will feature updated first class suites — the airline unveiled the new suites in 2019 — as well as a new business class product, and some kind of walk-up bar.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not to say the other aircraft will not be good, but I don’t think they’ll be as good as the A380.”

Emirates Airbus A380 First class
Emirates Airbus A380 First class

AP

Development of the 777X has faced multiple delays. Although Emirates was originally scheduled to receive its first deliveries this year, Boeing deferred to 2021 due to issues with the engines and a failed pressure test in 2019. Emirates chief operating officer Adel Al Redha told Bloomberg last week that the airline now expects that to slide to 2022.

“In some respects, that is okay with us,” Clark said. “If next year is a difficult year, we’ll have to make adjustments to our program of aircraft deliveries.

Read the original article on Business Insider



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Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension



FILE PHOTO: A visitor walks past the Etihad Aviation Group logo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

June 4, 2020

DUBAI (Reuters) – Emirates and Etihad Airways will resume some transit flights after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lifted a suspension on services where passengers stop off in the country to change planes, or for refuelling.

Dubai’s Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, said on Thursday it would operate transit flights to 29 destinations in Asia, Europe and North America by June 15.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, meanwhile, said it would carry transit passengers to 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia from June 10.

The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers, more than two months after the Gulf Arab state halted all passenger flights in March as it introduced drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

It has since allowed a few, limited flights, while domestic restrictions such as the closure of shopping centres have been lifted.

Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who require UAE government approval before returning.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has seen countries around the world shut their borders as they went into lockdown, has decimated the global airline industry as demand was crushed.

Many countries continue to enforce tight entry restrictions, including some countries banning foreign visitors. Airlines around the world have warned it will take years for travel demand to recover.

(Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)





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Emirates warns of ‘harder measures’ as it braces for most difficult months in its history


“The COVID-19 pandemic will have a huge impact on our 2020-21 performance,” Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said in a statement.

“We continue to take aggressive cost management measures, and other necessary steps to safeguard our business, while planning for business resumption.”

In an internal email sent to staff on Sunday and seen by Reuters, Sheikh Ahmed said the months ahead would be the most difficult in the airline’s 35-year history.

“At some point, if our business situation doesn’t improve, we will have to take harder measures,” he said in the email.

Emirates Group, which counts the airline among its assets, said it will not pay an annual dividend to its shareholder, Dubai’s state fund. Its cash assets stood at 25.6 billion dirham ($10.7 billion), it said.

Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said in the group’s annual report released on Sunday that he was confident Emirates would emerge from the crisis strong, and a global leader in aviation.

Emirates has not announced when it expects to resume flights.Credit:Bloomberg

Dubai said in March that it would inject funding into the airline. Emirates said in the annual report that Dubai would financially support the airline if it was required.

An Emirates spokeswoman said Dubai’s commitment to provide it with “equity injections” would allow it to “preserve its skilled workforce.” It would also allow it to be ready to resume flights when possible and continue to operate cargo and other services, she added.

Hub model

The airline made a profit of 1.1 billion dirhams in the year to March 31, up from 871 million dirhams a year earlier, it said. However, it cautioned that the virus outbreak had hit its final quarter.

Revenue contracted 6.1 per cent to 92 billion dirham as the number of passengers carried fell 4.2 per cent to 56.2 million.

In March, Emirates also temporarily cut staff pay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is not clear when Emirates will resume normal flights. Rival Qatar Airways has said it would begin rebuilding its network from this month, while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways plans to resume regular flights from June.

International connectivity is crucial for Emirates’ Gulf hub model, which transformed Dubai six years ago into the world’s busiest international airport. It does not operate domestic flights and most of its passengers transit through its hub.

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Emirates sister company dnata saw profit drop by 57 per cent in the year through March 31 to 618 million dirhams, which the company attributed to investments in its catering and airport services divisions and weak demand in its travel business.

Dnata has laid off some employees so that they could be eligible for unemployment schemes, Sheikh Ahmed said in the internal email.

Dnata is reviewing its operations in Australia after it was excluded from a government job protection scheme there due to its foreign state ownership.

Profit at the Emirates Group, which also includes dnata, fell 28 per cent to 1.7 billion dirham. Revenue was down 4.8 per cent to 104 billion.

Unfavourable currency exchange rates cost the Group 1 billion dirham in profit, it said, while it saw some respite from cheaper oil prices.

Reuters

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