Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 22 March 2020 - Due to the global spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, the health and aviation authorities of the People's Republic of China have issued a directive to all international airlines flying to Beijing, instructing them to land in another designated airport in China before continuing to the capital.
Effective from Sunday 22 March, Etihad Airways services to Beijing will stop in the city of Xi'an, where passengers will disembark for health screening, customs clearance, and to claim their baggage. This procedure is likely to be lengthy.
Once cleared by the local authorities for entry into China, passengers will re-board and baggage will be reloaded for the short flight to Beijing.
This directive does not affect the return schedule from Beijing to Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways thanks its guests for their patience and understanding. The airline is following directives from the UAE and international government and regulatory authorities and continues to implement temporary changes to its global operations due to the current situation. This is being carried out for the safety of its customers and staff.
Future changes to the route network may occur due to government directives in key markets. Etihad Airways is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and overseas and is continuing to monitor this situation closely.
For customers impacted by flight disruptions, procedures and waivers are in place to assist them with their travel planning. Customers should visit the dedicated easy-to-use web page relating to these matters at www.etihad.com/travelalerts.
Etihad Airways is urging guests whose flights are impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions to refrain from calling the airline's customer service lines unless their flights are scheduled within the next 48 hours. Contact Centres are currently experiencing significant congestion and long waits. The immediate priority is to assist those guests with imminent travel.
The Etihad Airways Contact Centre in the UAE is reachable on (+971) 600 555 666.