The flights operated to Afghanistan, Croatia, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Sudan, Somaliland and Thailand

Dubai-based flydubai has operated 23 repatriation flights carrying more than 2,800 passengers from the UAE between March 19 and April 8, 2020.

The flights operated to Afghanistan, Croatia, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Sudan, Somaliland and Thailand with the approval of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the civil aviation authorities of the respective countries as well as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, it said in a statement.

Operating from Terminal 2 at Dubai International airport, these flights carried only passengers outbound from the UAE, while UAE nationals were able to travel on the return sector.

The airline also transported essential goods in the belly-hold of its passenger aircraft in both directions, including medical supplies across its network.

Flydubai said it plans to operate up to 10 more repatriation flights over the next week and continues to coordinate closely with the authorities on bringing UAE nationals home free of charge.

Hamad Obaidalla, chief commercial officer of flydubai, said: “We acknowledge the challenges we are all facing in dealing with this pandemic and the impact it will have not only on our industry, but also on our livelihood and how we do things moving forward.

“We choose to remain focused on how we can contribute to easing the strain, enabling the movement of essential goods to where they are needed and bringing people back home where possible. We remain committed to supporting requests from governments to operate repatriation flights for their citizens.

“We look forward to resuming our operations when the time is right and we are working closely with the authorities.”

The airline also confirmed that it is carrying out a thorough enhanced cleaning and disinfection process for all its aircraft.

While the UAE has suspended most of its international flights, both Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways have also started operating repatriation flights this week.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates begins operating flights following suspension due to Covid-19