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Emirates & Etihad: UAE directive shuts down two airlines

Emirates & Etihad: UAE directive shuts down two airlines

UAE government suspends all passenger flights for 2 weeks from 25 March 2020

I’m writing this now because if yesterday is anything to go by, this information could be out of date in the next couple of hours! Yesterday Emirates announced it was shutting down all flights, and then 90 minutes later, reframed that to say they were retaining some flights. So read on if that gives you confidence.

UAE Directive

In line with the UAE government’s directive, Emirates and Etihad will temporarily suspend all passenger services for two weeks starting from 25 March 2020.

This directive is an attempt to slow down the transmission of COVID-19. Closing for just two weeks seems very optimistic when back here in Australia, they are talking about travel ban measures expected to last six months, not just a couple of weeks.

a seat in a plane

For Customers


You don’t need to contact Emirates to cancel, as they are waiving cancellation fees, but, you will need to complete a Travel voucher request form to rebook your flight.

As with most airlines, call centres are overloaded, so only call now if you are travelling in the next 48 hours.

If you have a ticket issued before the end of March and are affected by any of the following, you will be entitled to rebooking and/or a travel voucher.

  • Travel ban: Where there is government notification that prohibits travel
  • Travel advisory: General government advisory against non-essential travel             
  • Quarantine requirements: Mandatory quarantine at origin or destination     
  • Mandatory lockdown: Countries in which government have issued a mandatory lockdown and customers are therefore unable to reach the airport
  • Flight cancellation: Flights cancelled by Emirates

Your travel voucher will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue, and if your booking was for travel before the end of June 2020 then you can rebook to any destination in the same region without any additional booking fee or fare difference. (Africa; Australasia; Europe; Far East; Gulf, Middle East and Iran; Indian Ocean Islands; North America; South America; West Asia). You can do this at the Travel Voucher webpage and adding “Refund request due to Coronavirus” in the comments section. If you booked through a travel agent, then you need to contact them.

an airplane flying in the sky


For passengers impacted by flight cancellations, its best to visit the dedicated web page at

Advice about contacting their call centre is the same as for Emirates. Do what you can online, and only contact the call centre if your flight is imminent. If you booked through a travel agent – they should be the focus of your ire.

2PAXfly Takeout

OMG, when will it stop!

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