Emirates airline, the United Arab Emirates flag carrier, has become the world’s first airline to offer to cover customers’ medical expenses and quarantine costs should they contract Covid-19 during their trip.
The airline will pay medical expenses up to €150,000 ($173,000) and quarantine costs of up to €100 for 14 days, should they be diagnosed with the coronavirus during their travel, while away from home.
The cover will be available to all customers, at no extra cost, from now until October 31, 2020. It’s valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first leg of their trip, so passengers can continue to have the benefit even if they travel onwards from their Emirates destination.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates group chairman and chief executive, said in a press release, “Emirates has worked hard to put in place measures at every step of the customer journey to mitigate risk of infection, and we have also revamped our booking policies to offer flexibility.
“We are now taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer our customers free global cover for Covid-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel.”
While Emirates is the first airline to take this step to boost traveler confidence, it’s not the first player in the tourism industry to offer Covid payouts.
Central Asian nation Uzbekistan has promised the sum of $3,000 as compensation to visitors who contract Covid-19 while vacationing there.
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus, meanwhile, which reopened its borders to selected countries in June, is pledging to cover the cost of lodging, food, drink and medication for visitors who test positive for the virus during their stay.
Emirates is regularly named one of the world’s top airlines in Skytrax’s prestigious annual awards.
The UAE’s strategic location between Oman and Saudi Arabia makes it a key connection for travelers heading from the West to the East and vice versa.
The airline’s HQ is at Dubai International Airport, named the world’s third busiest airport in 2018, and the carrier will be keen to resume its once bustling international operations.
Tamara Hardingham-Gill and Manar Al Hinai contributed to this report.