Emirates has returned more than AED 5 billion (US$1.4 billion) in COVID-19-related travel refunds to date.

With more than 1.4 million refund requests completed since March, the Dubai carrier has cleared 90 per cent of its backlog. This includes all requests received from customers around the world until the end of June, except for a few cases that require further manual review.

Since the pandemic hit, Emirates has invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability.

The airline also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who have booked Emirates flights through travel agents, which includes enabling direct refunds processing via global booking systems (GDS).

“We understand that from our customers’ standpoint, each pending refund request is one too many,” conceded Sir Tim Clark, President, 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. 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.”

Emirates has gradually restarted passenger operations as global travel markets slowly re-open and is now flying to more than 80 cities around the world.

Customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened to international visitors.

COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country from which they are travelling.