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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: Dubai airline Emirates is reopening lounges in cities it is serving beginning at Cairo International Airport, with more destinations including New York’s JFK International and Manchester Airport being added to the list.
Emirates redesigned its lounge offering and introduced additional measures as well as new protocols in each lounge to ensure compliance with coronavirus health and safety requirements, a statement from the carrier said.
“The buffet offering will be changed to an a la carte service with contactless menus activated by QR code. Throughout the day, lounge staff will sanitize each seat and table after customers leave,” Emirates said
“In addition, the lounge will be sanitized and fumigated regularly. All employees working in the lounge will be wearing masks and social distancing protocols are in place throughout the lounge.”
Seating capacity for Emirates passengers using the lounges would also be cut by half, while the catering staff would don masks, gloves and personal protective equipment to further ensure safety.
Emirates gradually restarted scheduled passenger operations on May 21 after months of grounding its fleet due to global travel restrictions, and now operates passenger and cargo services to 104 cities as of September.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Dubai carrier’s profitability, recording a loss of $3.4 billion during its 2020 fiscal first half versus $235 million for the same period last year. Revenue was down 75 percent to $3.2 billion year-on-year, with its cargo segment mainly keeping the business afloat.
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