Emirates Tries a New Tactic to Fill Planes: Cover Medical Costs

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Emirates has come up with a unique way to boost confidence in air travel.

The Dubai-based carrier on Thursday offered to cover the medical expenses of its passengers should they be diagnosed with Covid-19 while away from home.

Emirates specializes in the type of long-distance flights that have been hit hardest by national lockdowns and fears about contracting the disease in an enclosed space. The company will pay expenses of up to 150,000 euros ($174,000) and quarantine costs of 100 euros a day for 14 days, according to a statement.

The offer, good through Oct. 31, is “free of cost to its customers regardless of class of travel or destination,” the airline said.

Carriers have tried everything from mandatory masks to pre-flightblood tests and empty middle seats to boost confidence. Still, many restrictions remain in place even as some governments move to ease them. That will make it harder for passengers to take advantage of the Emirates offer. Consumer demandremains tepid anyway with the outbreak still growing in key markets like the U.S.

“We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open,” Emirates’ Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement. “They are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel.”

@HHAhmedBinSaeed

As directed by @HHShkMohd, @emirates will be the first airline to offer free cover for COVID-19 medical costs for customers when they travel to & from UAE & around the world. This will boost travel confidence & once again positions Emirates & Dubai as aviation industry leaders.11:46 AM · Jul 23, 2020

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