Sun 15-03-2020 14:29 PM
ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) -- Etihad Airways has announced temporary changes to its route network on Sunday.
In a statement, the UAE airline said, "Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and its continuing impact on air travel services globally, Etihad Airways continues to follow UAE and international government and regulatory authority directives and has implemented a series of consolidated network changes."
It went on to say that the decision was also being carried out to ensure the "safety and convenience" of its customers and staff, and to "to minimise operational disruption during this period".
The Etihad statement noted that all flights to Milan have been suspended until 30th April, while flights to Rome (EY85/86) were suspended until 30th April, and while its flights to the same city (EY83/84) were suspended until 30th June.
The airline noted that flights all flights for Istanbul, Beirut, Casablanca and Rabat will be suspended from 16th to 31st March.
All flights for Amman, Madrid and Barcelona are suspended from 17th March to 31st March, the national airline added.
It went on to note that flights to Jakarta will be reduced from double-daily to daily, with the suspension of flights EY472/471, from 18th March until 30th June.
As for flights for Seoul, flights will be reduced from daily to four flights per week - operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays - beginning from 30th March to 30th April.
All flights for Hong Kong have been suspended until 30th June, it continued.
Bangkok flights will be reduced from triple-daily to double-daily, with the suspension of flights EY406/405, from 21st March to 2nd May.
Etihad Airways went on to note that previously announced network changes remain in place. These include suspension of all flights for Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Medina, and Kuwait up until 31st March.
Bahrain and Muscat flights have been reduced from triple-daily to double-daily until 31st March. All Shanghai flights continue to be suspended until 28th March, while all Chengdu flights remain suspended until further notice.
Lastly, all Nagoya flights continued to be suspended until 30th June.
The airline noted that future changes to the route network may occur due to government directives in key markets.
"Etihad Airways is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and overseas and is continuing to monitor this situation closely," it added.
For passengers impacted by flight cancellations, procedures are in place for fare refunds or for flight changes when services resume, the airline continued.
Etihad Airways is urging guests whose flights are impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions to refrain from calling the airline’s customer service lines unless their flights are scheduled within the next 48 hours.
"Contact Centres are currently experiencing significant congestion and long waits. The immediate priority is to assist those guests with imminent travel," it noted.