Emirates is gearing up to expand its capacity to process refunds from 35,000 a month to 150,000 a month – but has warned agents it may yet still take until "early August" to clear the backlog.
The airline said on Monday (27 April) it had taken steps to restructure backend procedures and boost resources to accelerate refund processing, with nearly half a million requests pending.
"It is a difficult time for us, as it is for all airlines," said Emirates president Sir Tim Clark. "We are dipping into our cash reserves by being proactive in processing refunds, but it is our duty and responsibility.
"We would like to assure our customers and trade partners that we will honour refunds, and that we are doing our best to speed things up."
Sir Tim continued: "The situation was dynamic in the early weeks of the pandemic, but we have since rewritten our Covid-19 waiver policy into a simple, globally-applied approach that puts customers first.
"We’ve also proactively contacted those customers who had submitted earlier requests for refunds or booking changes, to let them know of the new options available to them.
"We sincerely hope our customers and trade partners will choose to book and fly with Emirates again at a later time.
"For those who have opted to hold their tickets or exchange it for travel vouchers, we look forward to welcoming you on our flights again soon. Announcements will be made whenever we are able to resume services."
Customers who wish to request travel vouchers or refunds can do so via an online form on Emirates’ website, or contact their travel booking agent for assistance.
Emirates is offering customers affected by flight cancellations and travel restrictions three options, all of which are available to customers who booked via the trade: