Britain is banning direct passenger flights to and from the United Arab Emirates, starting from Friday.
This will shut down the world's busiest international airline route from Dubai to London -- data over the month of January showed over 190,000 scheduled seats.
On top of the UAE, the UK is also banning flights from Burundi and Rwanda all in a bid to stop the spread of a coronavirus variant first found in South Africa.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday, via Twitter:
"People who have been in or transited through these countries will be denied entry, except British, Irish and third country nationals with residence."
The news also delivers a blow to countries that use the UAE for transit.
Emirates and Etihad normally carry large number of passengers connecting to destinations like Australia meaning canceling those flights will have far-reaching implications.
In response, the Australian government said it will add more charter flights from Britain if needed.