Emirates resumes Iran flights after five-month break

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This picture taken on July 17, 2020 shows an Emirates Boeing 777-31H aircraft taxying upon arrival at the Iranian capital Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. (AFP)
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An incoming passenger crosses with his luggage through a disinfection tunnel upon arriving on an Emirates flight at the Iranian capital Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on July 17, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 July 2020

Emirates resumes Iran flights after five-month break

  • Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, has been scrambling to contain the pandemic since it reported its first two COVID-19 deaths in February
  • Neighbouring countries imposed travel curbs and strict quarantine measures after the first cases of their own days later, mostly in travelers with links to Iran

TEHRAN: Dubai-based Emirates airlines resumed flights to the Iranian capital on Friday after a five-month break due to shutdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, has been scrambling to contain the pandemic since it reported its first two COVID-19 deaths in February.
Neighbouring countries imposed travel curbs and strict quarantine measures after the first cases of their own days later, mostly in travelers with links to Iran.
The 16 passengers on the Emirates flight from Dubai passed through a disinfection tunnel and had their body temperature checked upon arrival at Tehran’s airport.
In the departures lounge, masked outgoing passengers lined up at the Emirates check-in counter while an airport worker disinfected dozens of luggage trolleys.
The United Arab Emirates was among a list of countries that suspended all air links with Iran in February, along with nearby Armenia, Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey.
The UAE is a key international transit route for Iranians and had daily flights to Iran.
“My colleagues and I screened the passengers for symptoms with interviews and we also have thermal sensors,” said Nadia Piri, one of the airport’s resident doctors.
Passengers had to fill in forms on arrival, Piri said, and would have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Airport deputy head Mohammadreza Karimian said a number of airlines have asked to resume flights to Iran.
“Different airlines have made requests, considering that we observe all health protocols throughly,” he said, without naming them.
Iran has been battling a resurgence of COVID-19 illness, with official figures showing a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.
The health ministry on Friday raised the overall virus toll to more than 13,790 deaths, with 183 new fatalities, and over 269,400 confirmed cases.
Iran has refrained from imposing full lockdowns but closed schools and canceled public gatherings.
It banned travel between provinces in March but lifting the order the next month.
The rising toll has prompted authorities to make masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces and allow worst-hit provinces to reimpose restrictions, with the capital Tehran among the latest.


Emirati consortium studies implementing wind energy project in Egypt

Updated 29 September 2020

Emirati consortium studies implementing wind energy project in Egypt

  • The coalition has submitted a request to the New and Renewable Energy Authority to allocate land for the purpose

CAIRO: Official sources at the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy revealed that an Emirati consortium is currently studying the implementation of a wind farm, with investments of about EGP 8 billion ($500 million).

The coalition has submitted a request to the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) to allocate land for the purpose, and the authority has already agreed to it. The total capacity of the station is about 500 megawatts.

The consortium is carrying out studies that will take two years and that include measuring wind speed, monitoring bird migration and studying the soil for the project, which will take place in the Gulf of Suez region as it has a strong wind force, an important factor.

The station is expected to implement the BOO system (Build, Own, Operate), provided that the coalition sells the energy produced to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, the operator of the national grid, entrusted with the purchase of energy.

The area of land allocated for the establishment of the project — in cooperation with the private sector under the usufructuary right system — is 7,872 km, according to data from the NREA.

The sources pointed out that the average selling price of renewable energy is currently declining, ranging between $0.02 to $0.025 per kilowatt hour. Land is allocated for 2 percent of the energy produced or its equivalent and throughout the project’s duration; then, the authority will recover it.

Egypt is rich in natural resources, including wind and solar energy, which makes it one of the largest producers of renewable energy. The total installed capacity of renewable energies is close to 20 percent of the maximum load.

Egypt plans to increase its total production of renewable energy to about 20 percent of the total electricity generated by 2022, of which 12 percent from wind, 6 percent from hydroelectricity, and 2 percent from solar.