Emirates returns $1.4 bln to customers in refunds
Emirates reveals that is has returned over AED 5 billion ($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 per cent 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).
“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,” Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said.
“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 reopen, 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 reopened 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.
Flexibility and assurance
Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel.
Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket by September 30 for travel on or before November 30, 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 Covid-19 cover
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 October 31 (first flight to be completed on or before October 31), 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.
The measures include the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.
Six flights per week to Maldives
The Dubai-based airline has recently increased its services to the Maldives from five a week to six times a week to meet customer demand.
Emirates, which runs the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, resumed services to the Maldives on July 16 after a three-month hiatus in the wake of border closures by the Maldivian authorities to control the coronavirus outbreak.
The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.
Resorts and hotels on uninhabited islands as well as liveaboard vessels were allowed to host tourists (please see a rolling list of resort reopenings here).
Guesthouses and hotels located on inhabited islands were to be allowed to reopen on August 1 but a surge in coronavirus cases in capital Male forced the authorities to extend a ban on guesthouse operations until October 15.
With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.
There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 72 hours prior to their departure.
Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.