Emirates announced a new waiver policy in order to provide customers more flexibility, choice and value for all booked tickets issued on or from today, March 7, until March 31, 2020, the Dubai airlines announced on Saturday.
The new waiver policy allows customers across its network the choice of changing their travel dates without charge and reissuance fees.
The move provides customers of Emirates — the world's biggest operator of Boeing 777s and the double-decker Airbus 380s — with peace of mind should they decide to change their travel plans due to the evolving Covid-19 situation.
In a media statement, Emirates said: "Customers can change their booking to any date for travel within an 11 month date range in the same booking class without change penalties. Difference in fare, if applicable applies. The policy covers all existing destinations across the Emirates network."
Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline, said: "We want our customers to feel fully supported, comfortable and confident when making travel plans, while offering them the best fares, without incurring change fees should they decide to delay or adjust dates. The situation remains dynamic and we will continue to look at ways to provide flexibility, convenience and peace of mind for our customers."
Emirates Skywards will also be providing more flexibility to its members who have been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus through imposed travel restrictions and flight reductions.
Skywards Platinum, Gold and Silver members can maintain their current status by fulfilling 80 per cent of their tier travel requirements between March 31 and June 30, 2020.
In addition, Skywards members booked to travel between March 1 and June 30, 2020 will be able to benefit from an additional 20 per cent bonus Tier Miles.
Etihad Airways also issued a notice on its website in response to the virus. "In response to the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, extensive measures have been introduced by the United Arab Emirates and many other nations to help limit the spread of the virus.
"As a result, some flights have been suspended and governments have introduced a range of restrictions to limit the entry of passengers who have recently visited certain countries," it said.
"Etihad Airways has suspended services on some routes and introduced fee waivers for guests who are required to cancel their flights or change their travel arrangements because of Covid-19 restrictions," it added.
The airline says that for guests whose tickets were issued in the UAE on or before March 5, 2020, and who have been directed or advised by authorities not to travel from the UAE until further notice, flights can be rebooked for departures up to 15 April 2020, without standard change fees.
Only one change is permitted, and further changes will attract standard fees. Re-routing or rebooking can only proceed if there are no travel restrictions in intended destinations.
Teachers employed in the UAE who elect to cancel their flights will be entitled to a fare refund without any standard change fees, upon presentation of a letter of employment from their education institution.
Passengers can also request a cancellation. In this case, the refund is without penalty on the unused portion of any tickets.
IndiGo airlines has also announced that it will not charge any fee on the rescheduling of domestic and international flights booked from March 12-March 31.
The Sharjah-based airline listed travel restrictions on flights going to and from Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from the UAE.
Passengers whose flights are affected by the restrictions mentioned on their website and offered a cancellation of their flight at no cost by contacting Air Arabia call centres: on +971 6 5580000 in the UAE or international numbers.