Due to actions taken by Australia’s government, Emirates has decided to suspend all flights to/from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and only continue flying to Perth twice a week.
Australia has halved the number of passengers airlines can transport to the country and has rigorous quarantine requirements for foreign cabin crew members that can easily lead planes flying out from Australia without any passengers. Positive crew members are quarantined for weeks.
Australia’s media is surprised that Emirates have decided to end these flights:
‘Devastation doesn’t begin to describe it’: Emirates suspends vital Australian routes after cap cut
The United Arab Emirates carrier was conducting daily flights between Dubai and Sydney and Melbourne and five flights a week to Brisbane, meaning the decision will wipe out 19 flights per week for Australians in Europe and the Middle East who have been waiting months to get home.
The Emirates cancellations are particularly problematic because the airline was working with embassy officials abroad to make sure those categorised as vulnerable were given seats on flights.
“They were our most reliable partner in repatriation,” one Australian government official said.
Emirates suspends all flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
Thousands of Australians have had their plans to get home thrown into chaos after Emirates announced it was suspending flights to three capital cities.
Emirates has suspended all flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane until further notice, leaving the travel plans of thousands of Australians stranded overseas up in the air.
International airline Emirates has abruptly suspended its flights to Australia’s east coast, leaving it more difficult for Australians overseas to make it home.
The airline announced the decision on Friday evening on its website, attributing it to “operational reasons”.
Its last journeys from Dubai to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will fly on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
The airline made the announcement on Friday evening, confirming its last flight into Brisbane from Dubai would be on Saturday, while the last flights into Sydney and Melbourne would be on Tuesday.
The only Emirates flights into Australia will now be twice-weekly ones into Perth from Dubai.
In a statement to the ABC, the airline said the flight suspensions were due to “operational reasons”, and that it “regrets any inconvenience caused”.
“Emirates remains committed to Australia and continues to operate twice weekly flights to/from Perth,” the statement read.
Actions have consequences, as Australia’s government found out on Friday.
If the flights that mostly bring back Australians stranded overseas are uneconomical to operate or too much red tape is involved, foreign operators cancel them indefinitely like what Emirates have done.
Qantas, the “flag” carrier of Australia, has suspended all scheduled international flights outside some trans-Tasman services and government-funded expatriation flights.
I would assume that the last straw for Emirates was the requirement to test all crew members on arrival, and even if one of them tested positive, the person would need to quarantine in Australia for weeks. The rest of the crew could leave and fly the plane back to base but without any passengers.