Dubai’s Emirates airline yesterday said it had received about 500,000 refund requests from customers who have been affected by flight cancellations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Airline President, Tim Clark, was quoted by Al-Khaleej Online as saying that his company was “dipping into our cash reserves by being proactive in processing refunds.”
“Before the outbreak, the airline had been processing an average of 35,000 refund requests each month. Now, we are gearing up to handle 150,000 per month,” Clark pointed out, adding that the company was planning to clear its “current backlog by early August”.
“It is a difficult time for us, as it is for all airlines,” he said, stressing that the airline would “honour refunds to all our customers and trade partners.”
“We are doing our best to speed things up,” Clark reiterated.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspended flights on 23 March to contain the spread of COVID-19, with the only air travel being for those who seek to be repatriated.
Since appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions. So far at least 3,055,498 people have contracted the disease, including 211,035 who have died, according to the US’ Worldometers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.