UAE Suspends All Flights With Iran Over Coronavirus Outbreak

DUBAI, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights to and from Iran for at least a week due to the spread of the new coronavirus in the Islamic republic, state news agency WAM reported, citing a directive from the Persian Gulf Arab state’s aviation authority.

The suspension affects passenger and cargo flights of UAE carriers Emirates, flydubai, which operate services from Dubai, and Air Arabia, which flies from Sharjah, and Iranian airlines.

“The aviation authority said it was suspending all passenger and cargo flights to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran for a week, which could be extended,” WAM said, quoting a statement from the authority.

Two more Iranians infected with the new coronavirus have died in Iran, media said on Tuesday, taking to 14 its tally of deaths.

Dubai, one for the world’s busiest airports, is a major transit point for passengers travelling to and from Iran, and Emirates is one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines.

The UAE has recorded 13 cases since Jan. 28; the latest two are an Iranian tourist and his wife.

Bahrain, which reported a second case of the disease, said it was suspending all Dubai flights until further notice.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Alex Richardson)