Emirates Will Resume Flights To Nigeria & South Africa This Week

On the weekend, Dubai authorities confirmed that entry requirements from Nigeria, South Africa, and India will be relaxed.…

Emirates Will Resume Flights To Nigeria & South Africa This Week

On the weekend, Dubai authorities confirmed that entry requirements from Nigeria, South Africa, and India will be relaxed. As a result, Emirates has announced that it is resuming flights to these three countries on June 23rd.

Emirates suspended flights from Nigeria on March 18th, operations from South Africa on April 15th, and services from India on April 25th. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Strong links

Citizens from all three nations have prominent connections in the United Arab Emirates. Between January and June 2019, nearly one million people visited the country from India. Meanwhile, Dubai saw a 28% increase in visitors from Nigeria in the same year.

There is a significant population of nationals from these countries in the UAE. Notably, around 3.4 million Indians live here, along with up to 50,000 Nigerians and over 50,000 South Africans.

Despite these strong links, travel had been heavily restricted amid the conditions of the pandemic. However, with recent improvements in the virus climate, officials are relaxing measures for entry.

Emirates, Boeing 777-300ER commercial airplane lands at
The airline will be keen to get more of its widebodies in the air. Photo: Getty Images

The conditions

From this Wednesday, passengers from Nigeria can fly into Dubai following a PCR test taken at labs approved by Nigerian authorities 48 hours before departure. They also have to take another PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

Those flying in from South Africa also have to follow the same testing requirements and will have to be fully vaccinated by either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, Oxford-AstraZeneca, or Sinopharm vaccines.

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Along with following vaccination requirements, travelers from India must have a valid residence visa and will have to also undergo “institutional quarantine” until they receive their PCR on arrival result. However, there is an exception for UAE nationals.

Emirates has expressed that it is keen to facilitate flights from the three nations. It is also looking forward to assisting different passenger segments.  

“We will resume carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India in accordance with these protocols from 23rd June,” Emirates shared in a statement, as reported by Gulf Today.

“We thank the Supreme Committee for their continuous efforts in monitoring the development of the situation and announcing the appropriate guidelines and protocols to protect the community and safeguard travel sector.”

Emirates Airbus A380 Lands Into Sydney, Australia
Nationals of the United Arab Emirates don’t have to follow pre-departure PCR test policies. Photo: Getty Images.

Ever-changing requirements

Despite the progress in two key African markets, the news isn’t so optimistic across the continent. The UAE has suspended the entry of passengers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Namibia. This suspension took effect today.

Nonetheless, thousands of travelers will welcome the update by Dubai and Emirates from the weekend. Along with the abundance of residents and visitors that will be looking to fly with the airline to the destination, Dubai is also a crucial connecting spot across the continents. Therefore, smoother travel will undoubtedly be enabled with this move.

Emirates will also be glad that it is ramping up more services. The carrier is already operating 90% of its pre-pandemic network, so it has great momentum going this summer.

Amid the prospects this year, Dubai International’s Terminal 1’s Concourse D will reopen this Thursday. The facilities were shut down at the end of March last year amid the global health crisis. Now, Dubai Airports’ management feels that there will be a swarm of visitors in the coming period.

Simple Flying reached out to Emirates for further comment on the resuming flights. We will update the article with any additional announcements from the airline.

What are your thoughts about Emirates resuming several flights following recent updates? Are you looking to fly with the carrier this summer? Let us know what you think of the plans in the comment section.

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Coming Soon: Larger Aircraft Bathrooms – Better For All

Aircraft bathrooms have been shrinking. Today’s narrowbody lavatories are often as much as 10 inches narrower than they…

Coming Soon: Larger Aircraft Bathrooms – Better For All

Aircraft bathrooms have been shrinking. Today’s narrowbody lavatories are often as much as 10 inches narrower than they were 10 years ago. That’s uncomfortable for everyone, and for passengers with reduced mobility, it makes them practically unusable. So AirGo has come up with a concept that not only gives space back to the bathroom, making it fully accessible for wheelchair users but manages to do so without reducing passenger capacity.

This bathroom concept gives more space for everyone onboard. Photo: AirGo

A concept for a spacious lavatory

Passengers with reduced mobility endure a multitude of challenges when traveling by air. For example, the narrow aisle of the aircraft means personal wheelchair use is not possible, meaning passengers are forced to use airline-provided wheelchairs instead. But that’s not the only issue.

Going to the bathroom onboard can be a very difficult experience. Widebody aircraft must have accessible toilets, but narrowbodies are yet to be covered by the same rule. With aircraft like the A321LR and the 737 MAX now capable of flying for many hours, disabled passengers desperately need a better bathroom solution.

Cabin design firm AirGo has developed just such a solution. Its SPACE lavatory, a finalist in this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards, uses a triangular-shaped bathroom space, giving passengers with reduced mobility the ability to wheel into the lavatory and safely transfer themselves between the chair and the toilet.

AirGo Space accessible bathroom
The extra space makes it easy for wheelchair users to transfer themselves safely. Photo: AirGo

AirGo has designed the SPACE lavatory to be compatible with its Galaxy cabin configuration. This business class seating arrangement has been specifically designed for the single-aisle market, and would leave enough space at the end of the cabin for two spacious bathrooms to be installed.

The concept doesn’t require a reduction in seating capacity. On an A319, for example, the Space lavatory concept actually allows for four more passengers than the next nearest competitor, something that will make this attractive to both passengers and airlines.

AirGo Space accessible bathroom
When used in conjunction with the Galaxy cabin, seating capacity is actually increased. Photo: AirGo

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The problem with aircraft lavatories

At present, only widebody planes are mandated to include accessible lavatories. However, single-aisle aircraft are not subject to the same requirements. A 2016 regulation required aircraft with more than 125 seats to have a narrow wheelchair (known as an aisle chair) and lavatories with handles and controls for the disabled. Airlines would need to comply within three years of the rules being adopted.

However, the Trump administration halted the rulemaking in January 2017. The rules should have been adopted in July 2017, but with the Trump administration busily reviewing the Obama-instigated proposals, the deadline passed, and no new deadline was set.

In 2018, disabled travelers sued the DOT to force airlines to provide accessible lavatories on single-aisle planes. Around two-thirds of disabled people said that the lack of accessible bathrooms was reason enough to avoid flying altogether. In December 2019, the DOT finally issued proposals for better access to onboard toilets.

AirGo Space accessible bathroom
This larger concept would tick all the DOT boxes. Photo: AirGo

The rulemaking applies to aircraft with 125 seats or more and requires that:

  • At least one accessible bathroom is onboard
  • Assist handles are installed
  • Call buttons and accessible door locks are installed
  • Lavatory controls and soap/water dispensers can be activated by touch

However, things are still moving slowly, and the final rule is unlikely to affect in-service aircraft. The DOT has stated throughout that it does not expect to require rebuilding of current lavatory facilities, so it’s mainly new aircraft that will eventually get the upgrade.

Bigger lavatories would be a win for passengers who do not suffer from reduced mobility also. Plane bathrooms have been shrinking for years, as airlines do everything they can to maximize their passenger-carrying capacity. In 2018, the Washington Post reported that some of the bathrooms on new narrowbody aircraft had shrunk to just 24 inches wide – 10 inches smaller than older bathrooms and one inch smaller than J-Lo’s waist.

For anyone over about five foot six, this is a problem. For a passenger with reduced mobility, it’s a nightmare. Bigger bathrooms would be better for everyone, and with innovative designs like this, airlines don’t necessarily have to sacrifice passenger capacity. Let’s hope they take up the challenge soon.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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