The Abu Dhabi airline had hoped to resume passenger flights by May 16…

Earlier this week, Etihad announced that it was delaying the resumption of passenger flights from May 1 to May 16.

Now, it appears those plans have been pushed back even further, with Etihad suspending all online ticket sales for flights up until June 16.

Previously, the Abu Dhabi airline had been accepting bookings for passenger flights from mid May. Now, the website is only taking reservations for flights beyond June 16.

As the world continues to deal with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, aviation and travel have been two of the hardest hit industries. Etihad’s revised plans to resume limited passenger flights from June 16 are still subject to change, and dependent on health and safety measures and travel restrictions around the globe.

An Etihad spokesperson told The National, “To minimise any potential disruption or discomfort to customers, only flexible and refundable fares will be offered after April 29, 2020, for travel ‪between June 16 and August 31, 2020.

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“The network is under continuous review, and Etihad is monitoring the situation and following UAE and international government and regulatory authority directives.”

While Etihad’s passenger flights remain suspended for at least the next six weeks, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier will continue to run its repatriation services.

These one-way flights departing Abu Dhabi help foreign citizens return to their home countries, while UAE nationals who’ve been stranded overseas can travel back to the UAE on the return leg.

Since the start of the coronvirus pandemic, close to 35,000 people have been repatriated from the UAE, on 312 flights.

Yesterday, Etihad added two new destinations to its repatriation flights. The special flights include Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Manila, Melbourne, New York JFK, Seoul Incheon, Singapore, Tokyo Narita and Zurich.

In Dubai, Emirates Airline’s passenger flights are also suspended. Like Etihad, the carrier continues to offer repatriation services.