In a bid to boost travel, the airline offers to cover all COVID-19 expenses
In a bid to attract attention, boost travel, and arguably confidence, Emirates has offered to cover funeral expenses of its fliers if they contact COVID-19 and later succumb to the virus.
Claiming it to be a first for any airline in the world, the Dubai-based carrier said it will cover medical expenses of up to EUR 150,000 (about Rs 1.3 crore) and quarantine costs of EUR 100 (about Rs 8,800) per day for 14 days, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel, while they are away from home.
Funeral costs of up to Rs 1.32 lakh are also covered.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The cover, the airline reiterated, is provided free of cost to its customers. The offer is valid for travel from July 23, 2020, until October 31, 2020.
"It is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination," the airline said in an announcement in late July.
COVID-19 testing expenses, however, are not covered under the offer.
The incentive for customers comes as airline resumes operations across the world, including flyings its jumbo A380 flights. The airline, which has also undertaken a massive layoff exercise to cut costs, had seen plummeting by 90 percent after COVID-19 disrupted travel all over the world.
What Indian airlines are offering
Airlines in India are also doing their bit to woo passengers in a market where they are hovering around the half-way mark.
While SpiceJet offers discounts on insurance cover, GoAir has incentives on doctor consultation and full body checkups.
There are also special offers for doctors, nurses, and the armed forces, in line with the current sentiment in the country, with regards to COVID-19 and the standoff with China.Read more: COVID-19 impact: Airlines offer Starbucks coffee, insurance cover, full body checkups to woo fliers