Etihad Airways plans to run an extended series of essential services from its Abu Dhabi hub.

The carrier has been operating a limited number of special flights to allow stranded passengers to return home, and to support a UAE food programme.

The services have given foreign nationals the opportunity to fly home from the emirate, covering a number of destinations, including the US, Australia and Sri Lanka.

“All of these operations have been approved by the UAE government and we continue to work closely with the authorities on the continuation of these types of operations, with a view to expanding the number of flights on the basis of approaches from a number of foreign governments,” the airline said.

A regular service to a number of destinations is planned from April 5, starting with Seoul, followed others such as Melbourne, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Amsterdam, subject to government approvals.