Dubai-based Emirates on Saturday announced a waiver policy for all booked tickets on or from March 7 to 31, 2020.

This it said would allow customers across its network the choice of changing their travel dates without change and re-issuance fees.

The move is to provide flexibility should customers decide to change their travel plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.

“Customers can change their booking to any date for travel within an 11-month date range in the same booking class without change penalties. Difference in fare, if applicable applies”, a statement from the airline said.

The policy covers all existing destinations across the Emirates network.

“We want our customers to feel fully supported, comfortable and confident when making travel plans, while offering them the best fares, without incurring change fees should they decide to delay or adjust dates. The situation remains dynamic and we will continue to look at ways to provide flexibility, convenience, and peace of mind for our customers”, Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline said in the statement.

Emirates Skywards will also be providing more flexibility to its members who have been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus through imposed travel restrictions and flight reductions.

Skywards Platinum, Gold and Silver members can maintain their current status by fulfilling 80% of their tier travel requirements between 31 March and 30 June 2020.

In addition, Skywards members booked to travel between 1 March and 30 June 2020 will be able to benefit from an additional 20% bonus Tier Miles.

 Emirates also indicated it is taking its aircraft cleaning process to the next level through additional precautionary measures of implementing enhanced disinfecting procedures after flights from destinations most affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

“If the airline is alerted to any suspect or confirmed cases of infectious diseases, teams will be immediately deployed for a deeper cleaning to thoroughly disinfect all cabins of that aircraft with stronger, approved chemicals”, it added.

Across all its aircraft Emirates utilises HEPA filters, which are proven to remove more than 99% of viruses in the cabin environment. It would go a step further to replace all the HEPA filters on the aircraft if there is a suspected case onboard.

 Meanwhile, the airline says fare differences or applicable taxes may apply if customers wish to change their bookings to a different fare class. However, the current refund and rebooking conditions for tickets issued before 5 March still apply. 

Customers impacted due to cancellations of flights following COVID-19 virus threat can check for rebooking or rerouting options or those who wish to change their travel arrangements after making bookings between March 7 -31  can visit their travel agent or contact the Emirates call centre at +233 302213131.