Emirates on Monday said that it has returned more than $1.4 billion (AED 5 billion) in ticket refunds to customers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which saw all scheduled passenger flights cancelled from late-March.
More than 1.4 million refunds requests have been completed since March, representing 90% of the airline's backlog. This includes all requests received from customers around the world up until the end of June.
“We understand that from our customers' standpoint, each pending refund request is one too many,” said Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline.
“We are committed to honouring refunds and are trying our utmost to clear the massive and unprecedented backlog that was caused by the pandemic.”
He added: “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.”
Since the pandemic hit, Emirates has invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability.
The airline said it also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who have booked their Emirates flights through travel agents, this includes enabling direct refunds processing via global booking systems (GDS).
Emirates will return staff salaries to 100% from October but has cut other allowances, according to an email sent out to employees.