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Emirates resumes flights to Istanbul and Beirut

The Dubai-based airline has been adding destinations since resuming passenger flights in late May.
An Emirates passenger plane comes in to land at London Heathrow airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville - RC2ZSG9E0EA0

The Dubai-based airline Emirates announced it was adding more regional destinations today. The additions come as the carrier struggles with job cuts and resuming its pre-coronavirus flight schedule.

The airline’s chief commercial officer, Adnan Kazim, said recently resumed flights amid the coronavirus pandemic are taking part as planned and they hope to soon add more.

Emirates has been able to provide smooth and safe journeys for those who need to travel,” Kazim said in a statement. “We look forward to adding flights to more destinations in the coming weeks,” he added.

Emirates will resume flights from Dubai to Istanbul on June 25 and to Beirut on July 1. There will also be flights to Washington, DC, on July 15, in addition to several European and Asian cities by these dates, according to the statement.

The United Arab Emirates’ airports closed to commercial passenger traffic in March amid the virus outbreak in the country, leaving only repatriation, humanitarian and cargo flights operating. Passenger flights resumed in late May to some North American, European and Asian destinations. Emirates has continuously added destinations since then.

The downturn in global air travel has led to significant financial losses for Emirates as well as other Gulf airlines. Emirates has laid off hundreds of pilots and cabin crew since May due to its reduced operations.

“We simply cannot sustain excess resources, and [we] have to size our workforce in line with our reduced operations,” an Emirates spokesperson told Al-Monitor about the staff reduction earlier this month.