Emirates has announced it will restart flights to three Australian cities following a temporary suspension. Flights to Sydney will resume on January 25, Melbourne on January 27, and Brisbane on January 28.

Last week, the Dubai-based carrier pulled nearly 20 weekly flights to the three cities after state governments halved the number of international arrivals allowed and stepped up restrictions on foreign flight crew, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Due to limited places for hotel quarantine, flights into Australia are restricted to carry a dozen or so passengers at most. In addition, the country’s borders remain closed to most travellers, apart from Australian citizens, permanent residents, and those with exemptions.

This has left only a handful of carriers continuing to operate to Down Under, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines, most of which rely heavily on cargo and premium cabin revenue to sustain the “long and thin” routes.

“The pandemic has made international flying incredibly challenging and the dynamic restrictions and requirements implemented by the different state authorities in Australia had added complexity and burden to our operations,” an Emirates spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

“This led us to temporarily suspend passenger services while we engaged with various stakeholders regarding crew protocols and other operational details.”