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Dubai's Emirates refunds Dh5 billion to customers

Issac John /Dubai Filed on September 7, 2020 | Last updated on September 7, 2020 at 04.18 pm
Emirates, covid-19, refunds, sir tim clark, dubai, aviation, coronavirus

More than 1.4 million refund requests have been completed since March, representing 90 per cent of the airline's backlog.

Emirates Airline said on Monday that it has returned over Dh5 billion in Covid-19 related travel refunds to date as per its commitment to customers to complete pending refunds.

The Dubai-based national carrier said that 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," the airline said in a statement.

The announcement on customer refund comes a day after the carrier said it would restore the full basic salaries of its employees from October. This follows reports said that the airline had received $2 billion in financial assistance from the Dubai government since March with the global airline industry plunging into a tailspin in the wake of the pandemic, and the subsequent closure of borders and grounding of fleets.  Consequently, Emirates posted a profit drop 28 per cent for the financial year ended March 31.

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.

Over the past few weeks, the airline has resumed passenger flights to more destinations with its route network connecting 84 destinations. Last week, it restarted services to the Nigerian cities of Lagos and Abuja.

"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," said Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline.

Clark said most cases are straightforward, and these would be processed quickly. "But there are cases that 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."

The airline said since the pandemic hit, it had invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability. "The airline 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."

The airline, the world's largest operator of long-haul flights before the Covid-19 outbreak, 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.

Operating currently flights to over 80 cities, Emirates customers can stopover or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors. Ensuring the safety of Covid-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving in Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from, the airline aid.


Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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