MIAMI – Emirates (EK) refunds US$1.4Bn for canceled flights amid COVID-19. The airline has completed over 1.4 million refund requests since March. These numbers represent 90% of the airline’s backlog up yo June 2020.

Regarding its refund processing capability, EK said it had invested additional resources to speed it up, including manual reviews for some cases.

Additionally, the carrier continues working with travel agents to facilitate refunds for flights purchased through them. To complete these requests, it has enabled direct processing via global booking systems (GDS).

As some of the cases requires more time, EK President Sir Tim Clark thanked customer patience and understanding. Clark also reassured the airline’s commitment to honoring the refunds.

In August, the airline announced the resumption of 74 worldwide destinations.
Emirates Airbus A380 taxiing. | Photo: Airways Magazine File.

Operations amid COVID-19 Times

Apart from processing said refunds, the carrier has been implementing effective safety and business actions to battle the pandemic.

While the carrier will not hire staff for the remainder of 2020, it expects to restore full employee salaries. Regarding its operations, EK has gradually restarted passenger flights in conjunction with its health and safety policies.

At the end of August, the Government of Dubai granted the company a US$2bn bailout. While EK has to continue paying out some refunds, it now has some cash to wait until a successful recovery post-COVID-19 takes place.

Featured photo: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER. Photo: Emirates.