In March 2020, COVID-19 became the biggest disruptor in modern travel history — closing borders, grounding planes, and restricting movement on a scale never seen before.
Now, almost eight months since global travel came to a halt, countries are reopening for business. Planes are returning to the skies, hotels are re-opening their doors, and we are seeing more vehicles on the roads again. People who have been stuck at home for months are eager to visit friends and relatives, take a much-needed break, or simply return to some normality.
As we slowly move towards the end of the year, we are seeing many more countries in the region reopening their borders. Soon after Zimbabwe reopened for tourism and international travel on October 1, Emirates resumed flights into Harare; reconnecting the city with the rest of the world.
For a landlocked country, the airline functions as a conduit linking Zimbabwe to the rest of the world; to major cities like Dubai, London, New York and Singapore, amongst others. We are connecting Harare to the world’s centres of commerce and trade on all continents.
We are focused and committed to our network, and we are working hard to rebuild it. We currently fly to 99 destinations. Through our Dubai hub, the dream of once again exploring the world, whether for business or leisure, is slowly but surely turning out to be a promising reality, with many of our markets opening up again.
Before most of us think of travelling, the question of safety has and still is on everyone’s mind. Now more than ever, travellers need reassurance that travel is safe.
And so, Emirates as an industry leader has made safety for passengers and staff a top priority.
We have implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.
Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our customers and crew is a top priority. It’s something that we think is absolutely critical in this time and we are constantly looking at ways to make the experience better and safer.
We are very much aware of the concerns that travellers have flying in the ‘new normal’. As Emirates, we have tailored and adjusted our product and service offerings to keep our clients’ fears at bay.
Emirates’ extra assurance
Customers can now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home.
This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until December 31, 2020, and 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.
As we resume flights to more cities, giving customers the same confidence to fly beyond borders is critical to sustaining our hub operations in Dubai. With our safety measures in place and the COVID-19 insurance policy, we have made sure that travellers feel confident at every step of the journey until they reach their final destination.
There is so much Zimbabwe has to offer to he world; from the wildly diverse abundance of game year-round to classic African landscapes. Not to mention the world’s most wondrous waterfall: Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders. Emirates is here to reconnect the jewel of Africa to the world. Come on board.
Nasser Bahlooq is Country Manager for Emirates in Zimbabwe.