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Mon 7 Sep 2020 02:28 PM

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Revealed: how much Emirates has had to refund due to coronavirus impact

Emirates says that is has returned over $1.4 billion in Covid-19 related travel refunds to date

Revealed: how much Emirates has had to refund due to coronavirus impact

Since the pandemic hit, Emirates said it has invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability, adding it also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who have booked their Emirates flights through travel agents.

Emirates on Monday revealed that is has returned over AED5 billion ($1.4 billion) in Covid-19 related travel refunds to date.

More than 1.4 million refunds requests have been completed since March, representing 90 percent 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.

Since the pandemic hit, Emirates said it has invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability, adding it also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who have booked their Emirates flights through travel agents.

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.

The airline has introduced a series of 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. 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.

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.

Emirates on Sunday announced that staff salaries will be returned to 100 percent from October.

The group had implemented widespread salary cuts in March when it was forced to suspend all its flights due to the closure of international borders as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

However, a spokesperson told Arabian Business on Sunday: “We can confirm that Emirates will restore full salaries of our employees from next month.”

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