Emirates reveals that is has returned over AED 5 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) in COVID-19 related travel refunds to date, making strong and steady progress on its commitment to customers to complete pending refunds.
More than 1.4 million refunds requests have been completed since March, representing 90% of the airline’s backlog. This includes all requests received from customers around the world up until the end of June, save for a few cases which require further manual review.
Since the pandemic hit, Emirates has invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability. The airline also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who have booked their Emirates flights through travel agents, this includes enabling direct refunds processing via global booking systems (GDS).
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “We understand that from our customers’ standpoint, each pending refund request is one too many. We are committed to honouring refunds and are trying our utmost to clear the massive and unprecedented backlog that was caused by the pandemic. Most cases are straightforward, and these we will process quickly. But there are cases which will take a bit more time for our customer teams to manually review and complete. We are grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding.”
As global travel markets slowly re-open, Emirates has gradually restarted its passenger operations around the world, always ensuring that it provides customers with a safe and smooth travel experience.
The airline has introduced a series of industry-leading initiatives to provide customers with additional reassurance and confidence when they travel – from bio-safety measures at every step of their journey, to free COVID-19 medical cover, and flexible booking policies.
Emirates currently offers flights to over 80 cities. Customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors. Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.
Destination Dubai: From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai is one of the most popular global destinations. In 2019, the city welcomed 16.7 million visitors and hosted over hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events. Dubai was one of the world’s first cities to obtain the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.
Flexibility and assurance: Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket by 30 September 2020 for travel on or before 30 November 2020, can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options, if they have to change their travel plans due to unexpected flight or travel restrictions relating to COVID-19, or when they book a Flex or Flex plus fare.
Free, global cover for COVID-19 related costs: Customers can now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 October 2020 (first flight to be completed on or before 31 October 2020), and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination.
Health and safety: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.