Airline Updates

their latest developments to help build traveller confidence

From new first class lounge facilities and features with British Airways, to free global cover for COVID-19 from Emirates; the measures being implemented by airlines to help build traveller confidence mean that international business travel is safely back on the menu.

Scroll down to check out these and other airline developments, including new traveller requirements for specific routes and countries.


LAST UPDATED: 29 July 2020

Emirates is the world’s first airline to provide free global cover for passengers’ COVID-19 health expenses and quarantine costs.

Emirates customers can travel with confidence, as the airline will cover medical expenses of up to EUR 150,000 and quarantine costs of EUR 100 per day for 14 days, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel, while they are away from home. This cover is provided by the airline, free of cost to its customers.



HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group Chairman and Chief Executive said: “Under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Emirates is proud to lead the way in boosting confidence for international travel. We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel.”

He added: “Emirates has worked hard to put in place measures at every step of the customer journey to mitigate risk of infection, and we have also revamped our booking policies to offer flexibility. We are now taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer our customers free global cover for COVID-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel. It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, and we believe they will welcome this initiative.”

This cover for COVID-19 related medical expenses and quarantine costs is offered by Emirates free of cost to its customers regardless of class of travel or destination. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 October 2020 (first flight to be completed on or before 31 October 2020). It is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination.

Customers do not need to register or fill in any forms before they travel, and they are not obligated to utilise this cover provided by Emirates. Any impacted customer who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel simply has to contact a dedicated hotline to avail of assistance and cover.

The hotline number, and details of what COVID-19 related expenses are covered, is available on


Travelling to Dubai on or after 1 August 2020

Emirates have updated the travel requirements for residents and tourists travelling to and via Dubai, which take effect from 01 August 2020.


Travelling to Dubai on or after 1 August 2020

Depending on the passengers nationality they can get a visa on arrival, or passengers can apply for a visit visa from Dubai Immigration before they travel. Check if you need a visa here.

From 1 August 2020 all passengers arriving in Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate to be accepted on the flight. The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability.

If the UAE government has specified a designated laboratory in the passenger’s country of origin, then they must get the certificate from that lab. If it is not specified, please use an accredited lab in their country of departure. For the UK any clinic or laboratory can be used but the PCR test has to be approved by Public Heath England. If required more information can be found here.

Passengers may need to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival if their final destination is Dubai. If passengers take a test at the airport, they must remain in their hotel or residence until they receive the test result. If the test result is positive, the client will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines. Passengers must also download the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App, links are available click for both iOS and Android  

All travellers to Dubai, including passengers with a connecting flight, must complete this health declaration form and give it to the staff at check-in. This form will also be available at check-in.

Passengers will also need to complete the quarantine undertaking form provided on board if Dubai is your final destination. They will hand this form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.


Departing from Dubai on or after 1 August

All passengers travelling from Dubai to UK or Europe (and other mandated destinations) will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours before departure and present the test result certificate at check-in.

Before travelling, please check the requirements of the country you are travelling to. You may need to take a printed COVID-19 PCR test before you depart.

COVID-19 flight and travel restrictions remain in place across many countries around the world. Emirates are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves, and they hope to resume services as soon as conditions allow. This includes receiving government approvals, the easing of travel restrictions, and commercial demand. Emirates will announce any service resumption when they can, please continue to refer to this link to Find out which destinations we’re flying to and from.

Further details can be found at

Virgin Atlantic outline what changes to expect on your journey

From the moment travellers arrive at the airport, they’ll see that Virgin Atlantic are doing everything to ensure passenger safety and wellbeing. The airline has produced a series of videos and website content to prepare travellers for what to expect. Click HERE for more information.

Additional requirements for passengers travelling to Hong Kong

 In response to COVID-19, the Hong Kong SAR government has introduced new immigration requirements for passengers who are ending their journey in Hong Kong and have visited or transited through certain countries in the 14 days prior to arriving. 

Should travellers have visited or transited through the following countries within the last 14 days, they will be required to present additional documents in order to be permitted to enter Hong Kong. 

Effective 25 July 2020: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines or South Africa. 

Effective 29 July 2020: The aforementioned countries, Kazakhstan or the United States. 

Additional Entry Requirements:

A letter of certificate in English or Chinese issued by a laboratory or healthcare institution (template) stating: 

  • the name and passport number or Hong Kong ID card number of the passenger
  • that the passenger have undergone a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 and the result of that test was negative
  • that the sample for the test was taken within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of the flight to Hong Kong; and
  • A letter in English or Chinese issued by the relevant authority of the local government certifying the laboratory or healthcare institution is recognised or approved by the government (template); and
  • A letter in English or Chinese issued by the relevant authority of the local government certifying the laboratory or healthcare institution is recognised or approved by the government (template); and
  • Printed or digital confirmation in English or Chinese of a hotel room reservation in Hong Kong for not less than 14 days starting on the day of the arrival in Hong Kong. Please note that this is required for all passengers coming from the aforementioned countries – passengers who have a home or residential address in Hong Kong will also be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a hotel.

Flights resume to Shanghai 

British Airways will resume flights to mainland China from Sunday, 9 August. The London Heathrow to Shanghai Pudong route will initially operate each Thursday and Sunday. Only LHR-PVG will operate with passengers. PVG-LHR will be cargo only. PVG-LHR will be operating with passengers from September. Flights between London and Beijing remain suspended. British Airways continues to liaise closely with the Chinese authorities with the aim of resuming operations to Beijing Daxing International Airport at the earliest opportunity.

New features and facilities in the Lounges 

BA have introduced a raft of new measures to improve comfort and safety within their business and first class lounges:

Passenger Locator Form on arrival to the UK 

All passengers arriving into the UK and passing through the UK Border must fill out a Passenger Locator Form. They can fill out the form within 48 hours of arrival into the UK. The form can be found HERE.

Qatar temporarily moving to Heathrow Terminal 5

From 29th July, Qatar will operate out of LHR T5. They operate 3 daily flights in July and are planning on operating up to 4 daily flights to DOH in August. Qatar will use Check-in Zone A – A5-A15. Lounge access will reflect oneWorld Tier entry only.

Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam have launched a joint initiative

The three global airline alliances, collectively representing over fifty percent of the world’s air traffic, have come together to highlight the measures airlines are adopting to assure the well-being of customers while travelling. A video by the three alliances, provides a look at what customers can expect on their journeys over the coming months as travel restrictions are slowly eased and the world starts to reopen. Once customers are ready to fly, they can do so with confidence, assured that airlines and airports around the world are implementing enhanced hygiene and personal safety standards to mitigate risks to health.

To visit the Oneworld covid-19 portal with information from all airline members click HERE.

To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip.

You’ll also find innovative and interactive virtual trips, which walk you through each step of  being at the airport, on the train and in the hotel. You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.

Travel is changing. With common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers can have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be back business as (un)usual.