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Emirates resumes flights to Muscat

The Dubai-based airline is getting closer to resuming its pre-pandemic network, despite a new virus outbreak in the United Arab Emirates.
This picture taken on July 17, 2020 shows an Emirates Boeing 777-31H aircraft taxying upon arrival at the Iranian capital Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. - The UAE's Emirates airlines landed its first flight in Tehran on July 17 after a five month shutdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The Dubai-based airline Emirates will resume flights to Muscat this week. The Gulf carrier is nearing 100 destinations as it continues to rebuild amid the pandemic, despite financial struggles.

Emirates flights to the Omani capital will start again on Friday. The day before, the airline will resume travel to Entebbe, Uganda, bringing the airline’s total destinations to 94 in October, Emirates said in a press release. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Emirates flew to around 150 destinations.

Dubai is a major international transit hub and Emirates, like other regional airlines, has experienced large revenue losses due to the downturn in global travel. The Dubai government, which owns the airline, provided Emirates with $2 billion to help it stay in the sky in August. The airline also offered employees unpaid leave that month and cut jobs in June.

Dubai reopened to tourism in July and is now looking to boost its airline and economy with international visitors. Abu Dhabi also announced this month it is allowing tourists to enter again.

Flight resumptions and tourism are continuing, but the United Arab Emirates is experiencing historic highs in daily COVID-19 cases. To mitigate the spread, all people flying into the UAE, whether to visit or transit, must test negative for the virus before their flight. The Gulf country also approved the use of an emergency COVID-19 vaccine.

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