The UAE has banned all flights to and from China, with the exception of the capital, Beijing, which Emirates will serve with a reduced capacity.
The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued a statement saying that the flight suspension would come into force from Wednesday 5 February until further notice.
The ban is part of authorities’ efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which broke out in Wuhan, China, and has so far killed more than 400 people. Five cases have been reported in the UAE so far.
“We continue to put our confidence in the Chinese Government’s efforts to control and contain the situation," the statement said.
All passengers travelling from Beijing International Airport will need to undergo a six to eight-hour screening before boarding a plane, according to the GCAA.
It also asked airlines to communicate the new procedures with passengers to avoid flight delays.
The GCAA said it came to the decision after coordinating with national agencies such as the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines.
Meanwhile, Emirates’ decision to use the smaller 777 widebody instead of A380s on outbound Beijing routes comes into effect from 10 February until the end of the month. Return flights will use 777s from 11 February to 1 March.