An Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER
Emirates Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Emirates has processed nearly 650,000 refund requests and returned over Dh1.9 billion to its customers in the past two months, the Dubai-based airline announced on Thursday.

“(Emirates) has made good on its promise to expedite refunds after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel plans for millions of customers around the world,” it added.

In April, Emirates had announced that it would ramp up its refunds capabilities and committed to clear its backlog by August, which at that time stood at nearly half a million requests. The airline had crossed that target by early June, after expanding its processing capability from an average of 35,000 requests a month, to nearly 200,000.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “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. It is tough times for everyone, but we are committed to doing what’s right by our customers. That’s why we ringfenced cash to honour refunds, and invested resources to expedite processing,” he underlined.

Emirates noted its average processing time for refunds has reduced from 90 days to 60, and with lower volumes of new requests, this rate is expected to further improve.

Kazim added, “We still have over half a million refund requests to manage, and expect to clear these within the next two months.”

Emirates said it will continually review its booking policies and travel products to offer customers added confidence to plan and book their journeys.

At present, Emirates offers flights to over 50 cities, with connections between the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific through its hub in Dubai.

Dubai, meanwhile, has recently announced that it will re-open to welcome international visitors beginning July 7.