Emirates has announced that they will resume flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this week, after a short hiatus. The airline temporarily suspended flights in order to navigate the logistics of changing COVID-19 restrictions. The suspension left some travellers stranded, and Emirates have issued an apology, saying that the temporary suspension was necessary for the crew to engage with stakeholders and establish the proper operational protocols.
One such challenge is the mandated coronavirus test for crew members, which require 48 hours of self isolation prior to flying. Thankfully, Emirates was able to arrange for crew to self quarantine in their homes, and is able to continue operating in a manner that puts the safety of their passengers and crew at first priority.
The airline have also partnered with IATA to pioneer a digital travel pass trial. The mobile app would help passengers stay on top of government restrictions for travel and enable them to hold a ‘digital passport’. It is an important step toward increasing international travel, as the passport could serve as a means of proving passenger’s COVID-19 vaccination status. It will also streamline complex processes and help to manage changing restrictions for travellers from various countries.
Emirate’s chief operating officer said that there are new protocols and travel requirements to follow, and the app will enable staff to digitally transmit the information required by various countries into the airline’s system quickly and securely. The first stage of the trial will be executed in Dubai in April, allowing customers to share their status with the airlines before they reach the airport. The aim is to make the travel experience as efficient and convenient as possible under the constantly changing circumstances of the global pandemic.