Etihad To Resume UK-Australia Flights But With Strict Conditions
Etihad Airways will offer flights from Melbourne to London, with transit via Abu Dhabi, from May 15.
The airline made the announcement via Twitter where it explained flights from London to Melbourne, via Abu Dhabi, will start a week later on May 21.
Etihad said it has implemented an "an extensive sanitisation and safety programme" both on flights and at airports, and recommends travellers wear a face mask.
"On board, we'll make sure you are seated with as much space as possible between every guest, and we'll offer our food and drinks service in line with important Covid-19 guidelines," a statement on Etihad's website said.
Passengers will not be allowed to disembark at Abu Dhabi and must remain on board.
Additional safety and security measures will be in place at the destination and passengers will be required to quarantine, the airline said.
The Australian border remains closed except to citizens and permanent residents, immediate family, or New Zealand citizens normally resident in Australia.
Australians arriving on the Etihad flights will be required to go into self-isolation at a hotel for 14 days.
On Sunday, the UK government revealed any visitors would be required to self-isolate for two weeks. They must provide the address of where they plan to quarantine.
Those breaking restrictions will cop a fine of almost AU$2000.
"We ask that you follow these carefully. You will be required to self-quarantine, and should check this before you travel," the airline said.
Reinstating this route means passengers trying to travel between the two cities now have a choice between Qatar or Etihad.
There are thousands of expats living in the UK, many of whom remain stranded because of the lack of options to get home.
According to Business Traveller there will be a flight which departs Melbourne every Friday night which will arrive at Heathrow Saturday morning (GMT) after a short fuel stop at Abu Dhabi.
Every Thursday there will be a late-night flight out of London which arrives in Melbourne early Friday evening.
The cost of a seat remains unclear but travellers can make a booking or inquiry flight via the Etihad website.
Featured image: Etihad