Open letter from Sir Tim Clark, Chairman of Emirates Airline


To all our valued passengers,

This week has been one of the most difficult for Emirates operationally, as record storms hit the UAE.

I would like to extend our sincerest apologies to all passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted during this time.

On Tuesday April 16, the United Arab Emirates experienced its highest rainfall in 75 years. Strong winds and rain disrupted activity in cities. Our Dubai hub remained open 24/7, with reduced flight movements for safety reasons, but flooded roads prevented our customers, pilots, cabin crew and airport employees from reaching the airport, as well as the movement of essential supplies like meals and drinks. other flight amenities.

We diverted dozens of flights to avoid the worst of the weather on Tuesday, and over the next three days we had to cancel nearly 400 flights and delay many more as operations at our hub remained strained. tested by staff and supply shortages.

We have been clear on our 2 priorities: taking care of our customers who have been affected by the disruption and resuming our operations on schedule.

To free up resources and capacity to prioritize affected customers, we had to suspend passenger check-in from Dubai, implement an embargo on ticket sales and temporarily halt connecting passenger traffic from points on our network arriving in Dubai.

We have deployed additional resources to help our airport and contact center teams rebook and offer additional flights to destinations where we have identified large numbers of displaced customers.

We have sent more than 100 employee volunteers to attend to disrupted customers at Dubai Airport departures and in the transit zone, prioritizing medical cases, the elderly and other vulnerable travelers. To date, more than 12,000 hotel rooms have been secured to accommodate disrupted guests in Dubai, 250,000 meal vouchers have been issued and more drinking water, blankets and other amenities.

Behind the scenes, thousands of additional employees across the organization pitched in to get our operations back on track.

As of this morning, Saturday April 20, our regular flight schedules have been restored. Passengers previously stranded in the airport transit area have been changed and are on their way to their destination. We have set up a task force to sort, reconcile and deliver some 30,000 bags left to their owners.

It will take us a few more days to clear the backlog of passengers and changed baggage, and we ask for the patience and understanding of our customers.

We know our response has been far from perfect. We recognize and understand our customers’ frustration with congestion, lack of information and confusion at terminals. We recognize that long lines and wait times are unacceptable.

We take our commitment to our customers very seriously and we have learned from the past few days to put things right and improve our processes.

I would also like to recognize and thank our teams across the airline, as well as our many suppliers and partners for their tireless efforts around the clock this week, despite difficult conditions, to support customers, recover our network and bring back our schedule. exploitation. To normal.

Finally and once again, I would like to apologize, on behalf of myself and all Emirates teams, to every customer affected by this disruption.

We will continue to work hard to live up to your expectations and our Fly Better brand promise.

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