Emirates has processed almost 650,000 refund requests worth AED 1.9 billion in the past two months.

The airline still has more than 500,000 requests for refunds to manage which it expects to achieve over the next two months.

The figures emerged as the Dubai-based carrier pledged to expedite refunds after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted travel plans for millions of passengers.

Emirates announced in April that it would ramp up its refund capabilities and committed to clear its backlog by August, which at that time stood at nearly 500,000 requests.

The airline crossed that target by early June, after expanding its processing capability from an average of 35,000 requests a month, to nearly 200,000.

Chief commercial officer Adnan Kazim said: “This pandemic is a black swan event no-one expected, impacting travellers and hitting the airline and travel industry hard.

“We’ve earned our customers’ trust over the years and we value that greatly.

“It is tough times for everyone, but we are committed to doing what’s right by our customers. That’s why we ringfenced cash to honour refunds, and invested resources to expedite processing.

“Our average processing time for refunds has reduced from 90 days to 60, and as we see lower volumes of new requests we expect this rate to further improve.

“We still have over half a million refund requests to manage, and expect to clear these within the next two months.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and trust, and to those who have opted to hold their ticket or rebooked to travel at a later time we look forward to welcoming you on board soon.”