PHOTO: Emirates.

LONDON – In what is a world’s first, Emirates (EK) has come forward and offered to cover customers from COVID-19 expenses.

If passengers get into any trouble during the traveling process, the airline will offer them significant insurance cover.

The airline has said it will cover medical expenses up to €150,000 as well as quarantine costs for up to €100 per day for 14 days if the passenger has been diagnosed with the virus.

Insurance Valid for 31 Days until October 31

This has been placed on offer for anyone flying with EK until October 31 this year, as a mark of commitment to boosting the industry once again.

Under the scheme, the insurance will be applied to the customer’s air fare free of charge and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey.

This means that the passenger does not have to be on the flight to receive the cover for up to a month.

Emirates Airbus A380-861 A6-EEY Taking off from Rome Fiumicino Intl’ Airport (FCO). Photo: Andrea Ongaro @alphaoscaraviation

Comments from Emirates Chairman

Commenting on the news was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The airline’s Group Chairman and Chief Executive explained the reasoning for this offer.

“Under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Emirates is proud to lead the way in boosting confidence for international travel.”

“We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel.”

He continued discussing about how hard Emirates has worked to make everyone safe during this uncertain period.

“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.”

“It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, and we believe they will welcome this initiative.”

Emirates celebrates the arrival of its inaugural flight from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), marking the launch of their eleventh U.S. gateway on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Emirates Airline)

Other Elements on Offer

On top of this, EK are offering the following for fliers:

  • Revised its booking policies to offer customers more flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Any passenger who has been disrupted by COVID-19, their ticket will be valid for up to 24 months and can rebook to fly at a later time.
  • Emirates has also implemented the distribution of hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers free of charge.

Overall, this is a very significant step in the airline industry for carriers to be offering this sort of thing.

It will be interesting to see whether this potential new trend will catch on and which airlines around the globe will use it.