Countries around the region are implementing border restrictions…

Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. The suspensions have been implemented in response to border closures in the three destinations, as concern grows over the spread of a new Covid-19 strain.

Emirates Airline states on its website, “Due to the closure of Saudi Arabian, Kuwaiti and Omani borders, Emirates will be suspending flights to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 21-27 December, and Kuwait and Oman from 22-28 December.”

Etihad Airways has also temporarily suspended passenger services between Abu Dhabi and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Muscat in Oman, and Kuwait. An airline spokesperson told Gulf News that the suspension was “until further notice.”

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia closed its borders, including all international flights, land crossings and sea ports, for one week, extendable for another. Having only recently reopened its borders, Oman also shut its entry ports for one week, starting today (December 22).

Yesterday, Kuwait announced that it would close it air, land and sea borders from December 21 to January 1.

Flying to Abu Dhabi

A quick glance at the Abu Dhabi Airport’s arrivals and departures pages shows a mass of cancellations. Although Etihad’s own website shows business as usual to most destination, and a message they posted on Twitter reads that “Etihad Airways flights are operating as normal, except for those restrictions posted on”

Last night, Etihad Airways updated its travel guidelines from passengers flying to Abu Dhabi from the UK. From December 24, these travellers will have to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.