The UAE will suspend all passenger flights into and out of the country, along with the transit of airline passengers, from 11.59pm on March 25 (local time), in a move which will see Emirates and Etihad grounded until at least early April.
UAE's National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management and Civil Aviation Authority enacted the lockdown this morning, following an earlier ruling placing a temporary travel ban which prevents citizens from leaving the country, as the UAE ramps up its efforts to minimise the exposure and spread of Covid-19
The passenger flight ban will be in place for two weeks, with exemptions for emergency evacuation flights and cargo services.
"Additional examination and isolation arrangements will be taken later should flights resume in order to ensure the safety of passengers, air crews, and airport personnel and their protection from infection risks," the CAA said in a statement.
Emirates and Etihad are heavily reliant on transit passengers, using their Dubai and Abu Dhabi hubs – will collectively saw some 88 million passengers in 2018 – as a crossroads to the world.
While Etihad has been making relatively small strategic cuts to its network as the coronavirus began to take hold, Emirates this weekend slashed its globe-spanning network to barely a dozen countries.