Less than a week after announcing they would no longer fly into Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Emirates have made a sudden U-turn and announced they will resume passenger flights to the east coast of Australia.
From Monday, flights will resume into Sydney, Melbourne from Tuesday and Brisbane will be back in action from Thursday.
The airline’s announcement to dump all flights to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne left thousands of Australians stranded after the major airline announced the mass cancellation of routes.
“We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers in the period where we had to temporarily suspend our services,” a statement distributed by the airline read.
“The pandemic has made international flying incredibly challenging, and the dynamic restrictions and requirements implemented by the different state authorities in Australia had added complexity and burden to our operations.
“This led us to temporarily suspend passenger services while we engaged with various stakeholders regarding crew protocols and other operational details.”
The Federal Government’s caps on the number of passengers allowed on planes into Australia have been reduced in order to further ease pressure on the nation’s quarantine facilities.
This played as a deciding factor for Emirates, who cited “operational reasons” behind their flight suspension order.
“This is an added burden for our crew as individuals, for our rostering, and operating costs, and therefore this decision was made after careful review and consideration.”
From January 22, the government will require travellers to Australia to return a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure.
There are around 37,000 Australians still overseas and seeking assistance to get back into the country.