In light of the coronavirus travel restrictions in the UAE, flights to and from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other parts of the UAE were officially suspended in March. Recently certain international airlines, like Etihad and Emirates, have started operating a limited number of outbound flights from the United Arab Emirates to certain destinations across Asia, Europe and other select countries. Visitors looking to book flights back to their home countries may consider these commercial airlines that are offering outbound UAE repatriation flights.
What are Repatriation Flights?
Repatriation flights from the UAE are typically one-way, outbound flights whose purpose is to return visitors or expat residents back to their home countries. Flights like these are usually non-refundable and only operate during specific time slots and dates.
Some airlines that are offering outgoing UAE repatriation flights may require passengers to contact their concerned consulates or embassies before they book a flight. Foreign nationals who wish to avail of these offers must also consider that such flights can be subject to change.
National carriers offering repatriation flights from the UAE
These UAE-based airlines have scheduled evacuation flights from the UAE to different international destinations.
Etihad Airways started operating several repatriation fights from the UAE in May. The country’s national airline has also recently updated its flight schedule to add more destinations to its roster for outbound flights from Abu Dhabi.
Valid till June 15 2020, Etihad is operating special flights from the capital to destinations around the world. Additionally, all bookings that are made after 29th April for travel between 1st July and 31st August are refundable and flexible.
Currently, Etihad Airways is offering one-way flights from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belgrade, Brussels, Dublin, Geneva, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne, Milan, Paris, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo Narita, Toronto and Zurich. All of these flights have approval from the UAE Government.
- Book tickets at: Official website of Etihad Airways or Etihad mobile app
- Flights depart from: Abu Dhabi Airport
- Validity: Until June 2020
- Contact: +971-600-555-666
Check-in for the aforementioned locations opens three hours before the scheduled flight times with boarding passes ready to collect on arrival. Please visit the Etihad Airways website for dates and flight schedules
Flydubai is “working round-the-clock” to help visitors from countries on its recently updated repatriation flight schedule. All of the government-owned airline’s repatriation flights take off from the Dubai International Airport (DXB) at Terminal 2.
These one-way flights are available for Economy Class fare inclusive of 20kg checked baggage allowance. Passengers must also consider that no meals will be served during the flight and have been requested to prepare accordingly. One must also keep in mind that the flights are subject to approval by the government and will only operate if the said requirement is met. In case of cancellations, applicable refunds can be processed via flydubai vouchers.
Flydubai is currently only offering repatriation flights from Dubai to certain cities across the world. As per the airline’s official website, the repatriation flight schedule covers these destinations:
- Afghanistan (Kabul)
- Italy (Naples)
- Kazakhstan (Kyzylorda)
- Albania (Tirana)
- Kosovo (to Tirana)
- Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek)
- Montenegro (to Tirana)
- Rwanda (Kigali)
- Romania (Bucharest)
- North Macedonia (to Tirana)
According to the budget airline’s website, the residents of the aforementioned countries may book repatriation flights. Travellers are also requested to check with their concerned embassies before buying tickets.
- Book tickets at: Flydubai website
- Flights depart from: Dubai International Airport
- Contact: +971-600-54-4445 (UAE)
Foreign nationals looking for flights from Dubai to Iran may consider Air Arabia. The budget-friendly airline has announced outgoing flights from Sharjah. A recent update on the Air Arabia website shows that the airline is entertaining one-way reservations from the emirate to Iran for Iranian nationals residing in the UAE. According to the Air Arabia website, special outbound flights are scheduled to fly from Sharjah to the city of Lar in Iran on the 21st and 28th of May.
- Book tickets at: Air Arabia website, contact centre or partnered travel agents
- Flights depart from: Sharjah International Airport
- Contact: +971-6-558-000 (Sharjah)
Passengers are expected to arrive four hours before departure and must also keep in mind that flights are subject to approval from the authorities and passenger load. In case flights are cancelled, passengers will be entitled to a credit voucher of the full amount paid.
International carriers offering UAE repatriation flights
Apart from UAE-based carriers, a number of international airlines are also offering to fly citizens back home. Here is a list of foreign airline companies that are doing for expat residents in the UAE.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) joins a growing list of international carriers offering repatriation flights from the UAE back home. Approved by the Government of Pakistan, the special flights operate with relevant authorities and are subject to approval from foreign governments.
As per the official website of PIA, a number of flights will operate from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Pakistan from May 24th to May 31st.
- How to book: PIA Office, Contact Centre or PIA website
- Contact: +971-2-635-2600, +971-2-633-6670 (Abu Dhabi) | +971-4-229-6100 (Dubai) | +9221-111-786-786 (Pakistan)
Air India is part of India’s Vande Bharat Mission repatriation drive. The mission’s first phase included flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to different cities in the country. The mission’s second phase, which commenced on May 16, includes 31 international destinations one of which is the UAE. The last flights from the UAE to the country were from Abu Dhabi to Visakhapatnam and from Dubai to Bhubaneswar. Keep visiting the Air India official website for updates on the airline’s next repatriation schedule for the United Arab Emirates.
Apart from Air India, the airline’s subsidiary Air India Express is also operating an evacuation schedule from the Emirates to select Indian cities. These include:
- Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram
- Dubai to Hyderabad
- Dubai to Kochi
- Abu Dhabi to Kannur
- Dubai to Kozhikode
- Dubai to Bengaluru
That’s a wrap of our report of airlines offering outgoing UAE repatriation flights. Those interested in booking the mentioned flights are advised to consider precautionary measures imposed by airports before they head out. For example, passengers may be required to wear face masks and gloves at all times, even during flights. They may also be subject to additional screenings before they are allowed to board.
For more updates on travel from the UAE, stay tuned to MyBayut.