$1.7bn coronavirus-related refunds backlog cleared by Emirates

Dubai airline received, validated and processed nearly 1.7 million refund requests since April

Emirates said on Wednesday it has completed a programme to clear its backlog of refund requests which was caused by coronavirus pandemic-related travel disruption.

Over the seven-month period starting April, Emirates said it received, validated and processed nearly 1.7 million refund requests.

This resulted in the airline returning AED6.3 billion ($1.7 billion) refunds to its customers. Of this sum, AED 4.7 billion was refunded to customers who had booked directly with the airline, and the remainder was returned via travel agencies, the airline added.

In addition, Emirates said it managed over 130,000 refunds-related queries from customers and travel agency partners and made status changes to nearly four million flight coupons.

At the peak of its project, Emirates said it had 110 personnel dedicated to validating and processing refunds, massively increased from the 19-person team pre-pandemic.

Sir Tim Clark, president Emirates Airline said: “In the early months of 2020, Covid-19 massively disrupted travel around the world and led to an unprecedented volume of refunds requests across the aviation and travel industry, including at Emirates.

Sir Tim Clark, president Emirates Airline

“It was not a situation any airline wanted, particularly while also facing a cash crunch from drastically reduced operations. Through those difficult months, as we dealt with the impact of the pandemic on our business, we’ve never lost sight of our commitment to our customers.

“Emirates has now cleared our backlog of refunds. We still have higher volumes of refunds and flight coupon change requests compared to pre-pandemic times, but we now have the capability to manage these within a seven-day turnaround.”

Earlier this week, the airline announced that it will offer its customers a multi-risk travel insurance and Covid-19 cover, at no charge, on all tickets purchased on or from December 1.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Source: Read Full Article