Emirates clears refund backlog

DUBAI, UAE, 27 November 2020: Emirates has completed a drive to clear its backlog of refund requests caused by the Covid-19 pandemic-related travel disruption since last March.

Over the seven-month period starting April, Emirates received, validated and processed nearly 1.7 million refund requests. This resulted in the airline returning AED 6.3 billion refunds to its customers. Of this sum, AED 4.7 billion was refunded to customers who had booked directly with the airline, and the remainder was returned via travel agencies.

In addition, Emirates managed over 130,000 refunds-related queries from customers and travel agency partners and made status changes to nearly 4 million flight coupons.

At the peak, Emirates had 110 personnel dedicated to validating and processing refunds, massively increased from the 19-person team pre-pandemic.

Emirates Airlines president Sir Tim Clark said: “In the early months of 2020, Covid-19 massively disrupted travel around the world and led to an unprecedented volume of refunds requests across the aviation and travel industry, including at Emirates. It was not a situation any airline wanted, particularly while also facing a cash crunch from drastically reduced operations … Emirates has now cleared our backlog of refunds. We still have higher volumes of refunds and flight coupon change requests compared to pre-pandemic times, but we now have the capability to manage these within a seven-day turnaround.”

Emirates offered our customers the flexibility to travel at a later date and has helped frequent flyers to retain their tier status and introduced other ways for them to earn and burn their Miles. 

Early this week, the airline announced that it would offer its customers another industry-first: multi-risk travel insurance and Covid-19 cover, at no charge, on all tickets purchased on or from 1 December 2020.

In addition to Covid-19 medical cover, there are provisions for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations or advisories, similar to other multi-risk travel insurance products. More information here


  1. Emirates is definitely a marvelous example for all other airlines to follow. Trust is, along with safety, the most important critic when booking a flight.


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