At the Dubai International Airport.


No embassy approval for flight bookings, OFWs told


DUBAI – The Philippine Embassy in the UAE junked rumours on purported embassy approval to book flights, advising Filipinos that they can book their tickets directly with the airlines.

In an advisory on Friday (May 22), the Philippine embassy said that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the UAE may “directly book or rebook with airlines on reopened flights, no need to ask embassy or consulate”.

The Philippine embassy also said it is not responsible for drawing up a passenger list for airlines and that it does not interfere with commercial flight bookings.

The mission said that both the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai do not reserve group bookings for Filipino passengers.

“If you are trying to rebook on flights that have been reopened, please do so directly with the airlines. Should airlines ask you to enlist or inquire with the embassy for rebooking of air tickets, you may tell them it’s not needed and show them this advisory,” the embassy said in its advisory.

UAE-based airlines Emirates and Etihad are continuing repatriation flights to select destinations, including Manila, to help stranded expatriates return to their home countries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Etihad also reiterated that it has opened limited flights from 17 cities, including Manila, to help expatriates return to the UAE.

The scheduled flights have been in operation since May 9 and will continue until May 30, according to Etihad. The airline’s Manila-Abu Dhabi flights are scheduled for May 23 and 30, however, a check on the website on Friday revealed that the flights were already “sold out”.

According to Etihad, its limited flights to Abu Dhabi are available to expats with valid residence visa to the UAE and have obtained approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

On May 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced that expatriates who have been stuck abroad amid the coronavirus outbreak will be able to return to the UAE from June 1.

The authorities, in a joint statement, said those wishing to return to the UAE must have a valid residency visa and family in the UAE to be brought back to the country. Residents who meet these criteria can then apply for approval or permit. Click here for guide on how to apply for ICA approval.

Meanwhile, Emirates airline has pushed back the resumption of its regular flights to July 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic. ICA/Expat Media

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