Dubai based Emirates Airlines has today disclosed that they have managed to return over AED 5 billion ($1.4 billion) back to customers. The rise in refund applications was a direct result of the impacts caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The AED 5 billion has gone back to over 1.4 million applications for refunds from March which is around 90% of the refund request backlog, that is for all applications the airline received till the end of June.
Dubai Airports Passenger Movements
The UAE government’s directives to stop the spread of the virus which also resulted in Emirates suspending all passenger flights from 25 March 2020 would have resulted in the high volumes of refund applications as seen on the above chart when Passenger Movements at Dubai Airports fell significantly after the suspension of flights.
Given the unprecedented rise in refund requests, many airlines have initially struggled to process the large volumes of requests but have recently ramped up their capacity to handle and clear the requests in a timely manner.
According to Emirates, they have invested in ramping up their processing capabilities ever since the pandemic hit. However, the airline indicated that certain applications will be delayed as it requires to be manually reviewed by its customer teams.
The CEO of Emirates Airlines, Sir Tim Clark stated, “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.”
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