In a bid to boost passenger demand amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Emirates has come up with a new strategy -- coronavirus insurance. The Dubai-based airline has said that if passengers contract COVID-19 during their journey, it will pay for medical expenses up to €150,000 (Approx Rs 1,31,62,000).
If the passenger needs to undergo complete isolation, the airline will pay €100 (Approx Rs 8,700) towards quarantine cost for up to two weeks.
And if the passenger does not survive, Emirates will pay €1,500 (Approx Rs 1,31,660) for the funeral. The airline said the coverage is free and is applied automatically, no extra registration necessary.
The coronavirus insurance is available for travel till October 31, 2020. "It is valid for 31 days from "the moment you take your first flight, and it covers you even if you travel onwards to another city," Emirates said as per a Business Insider report.
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 airline, however, will not cover the costs for getting a COVID-19 test. "Passengers must contact the Emirates to get expenses approved before paying them," it said.
Globally, the aviation sector is among the worst-affected due to the COVID-19 crisis and curbs on movement.
The airline's COVID-19 coverage is provided through NEXtCARE, which is an arm of travel insurance provider Allianz.
Resuming mass layoffs after a lull in June, Emirates fired 800 pilots on July 8.
A senior executive from the industry said, "560 pilots laid-off were on the airline's A380 fleet and 240 on its B777 planes."
In the first round of the exercise, the Dubai-based airline had laid off 600 pilots in a day, which in itself was among the largest such exercise in the global aviation industry.Click here for Moneyocntrol's coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak