On Saturday 20 June, Emirates flight EK380 (Boeing 777-300ER registered A6-EQG) flew from Dubai to Hong Kong. So far 26 passengers on board have tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at Hong Kong, although there is thermal screening at Dubai Airport also for transit passengers.
Hong Kong authorities have published the seat assignments of the passengers who tested positive for coronavirus (see Tweet hereunder). They were NOT seated together in a cluster but spread out throughout the cabin.
They were all coming from Pakistan and in transit at Dubai, meaning the inbound passengers at that airport are at risk, whether arriving or in transit.
Meanwhile, Emirates decided to suspend all flights from Pakistan as from 24 June.
This raises a few questions and remarks:
- Temperature control at the airport before boarding seems ineffective.
- Authorities and airlines are right in compelling passengers to wear a mask.
- Shouldn’t a recent PCR test also be compulsory?
- Occurrences like this will not help relaunch the aviation industry
My own conclusion: I would not yet fly unless absolutely necessary.
An Emirates spokesperson reacted a follow:
“Following the announcement of positive COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong relating to certain passengers who travelled on our flights, Emirates has taken the decision to temporarily suspend passenger services from Pakistan, from 24 June 04:00 Pakistan LT. We are coordinating closely with the various authorities and will review and implement any required additional measures to satisfy all parties before we resume services from Pakistan. The health and safety of our crew, customers and communities remain our top priority. Emirates has put in place a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey on the ground and in the air, to minimise the risk of infection spread. More information on these measures can be found on: www.emirates.com/yoursafety.
“We remain committed to serving our customers in Pakistan and are working hard to resume services as soon as possible. In the meantime, Emirates will continue to operate repatriation flights into Pakistan as per the announced schedule, and operate cargo services that support the trade and movement of goods between Pakistan, UAE and our global network.”