By Neil Halligan
Emirates airline still has over 500,000 refund requests to process, according to Adnan Kazim, Emirates' chief commercial officer
Emirates airline said it has refunded over $500 million (AED1.9bn) to nearly 650,000 passengers in the last two months, following through on its promise to accelerate Covid-19-related requests from customers.
The Dubai carrier announced in April that it would work on increasing its online capabilities to deal with nearly half a million refund requests from customers since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emirates said in order to meet the initial target of 500,000, it expanded its processing capability from an average of 35,000 requests a month to nearly 200,000, which allowed it to process 30% more. The average refund amounted to AED2,900 ($789).
“This pandemic is a black swan event no-one expected, impacting travellers and hitting the airline and travel industry hard. At Emirates, we’ve earned our customers’ trust over the years and we value that greatly,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ chief commercial officer.
“It is tough times for everyone, but we are committed to doing what’s right by our customers. That’s why we ring-fenced cash to honour refunds, and invested resources to expedite processing.”
Kazim said Emirates’ average processing time for refunds has reduced from 90 days to 60, which he expects to improve when there are lower volumes of new requests
“We still have over half a million refund requests to manage, and expect to clear these within the next 2 months,” he revealed.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and trust, and to those who have opted to hold their ticket or rebooked to travel at a later time - we look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.”