In a decision that is likely to cause a further bottleneck for Aussie travellers stranded overseas, Emirates is suspended most flights to Australia.
The gulf carrier said it is halting flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The sudden move comes as Australia drastically reduced the number of daily passengers allowed into the country.
The cancellations, which took effect starting on 16 January, will continue ‘until further notice’ due to ‘operational reasons.’
That leaves only Emirates’ Dubai-Perth route still operating, which flies twice a week.
There are thought to be more than 30,000 Australians still overseas wanting to come home.
“Australia remains an important market for Emirates. We continue to serve Perth with twice-weekly flights and we are working hard to prepare for the resumption of services to our other points,” the airline said.
The cap on inbound travellers was reduced last week ‘to manage the flow of returning Australians and other travellers who have been potentially exposed to the new variants,’ Australian PM Scot Morrison said.
Meanwhile Australia is planning another 20 chartered repatriation flights to get more Australians home.
They will operate from ‘priority areas from around the world’ such as the US and UK, said Finance Minister Simon Birmingham.
They will operate over the next two months, he said.