The airline is already operating repatriation flights to select destinations…

Etihad Airways has indicated that it intends to start a gradual return to business-as-usual, by operating a reduced schedule of passenger services from May 1, 2020.

This is, of course, subject to UAE government approval, as the travel restrictions on passenger travel currently forbids entry into the country for anyone other than UAE nationals.

The airline is already running special repatriation flights for stranded tourists and residents that want to return to their countries of origin.

But this new announcement refers to the resumption of standard operating procedures, albeit on a reduced scale.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said “we remain cautiously optimistic and will push ahead with our plans to resume normal flying, while striving to better serve and support our customers and our employees.”

The airline has been busy in the pandemic, and not just with its special flight services.

With a total of 80 per cent of its passenger planes on the ground, Etihad has been carrying out the biggest aircraft maintenance programme in its history.

They’ve also found time to put together this heart-warming token of gratitude to frontline Covid-19 workers.

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Etihad is taking the ongoing risk of Covid-19 transmission very seriously. They, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Airport, have been trialling new technology that potentially could be used in identifying the early signs of coronavirus.

One of the UAE’s other main airlines, Emirates has also pioneered a rapid pre-flight Covid-19 testing service.

All of which gives us cause to be cautiously optimistic about life after the pandemic.

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