Etihad Airways has sought to allay fears over its future following a warning on the viability of carriers in the Middle East from the International Air Transport Association.
Tony Douglas, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi flag-carrier, said the airline was well positioned to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to reassure you that, afterwards when we all want to get back to our normal lives, and we want to travel, Etihad will still be there to make sure it is the best possible way that you can enjoy that experience,” Douglas explained.
The move comes as IATA warns airlines in the Middle Eastern are facing a liquidity crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region were at risk, the trade body said.
IATA urged for state intervention to alleviate the crisis.
“We are going to go absolutely out of our way to make sure that we can reassure you,” Douglas added, “on behalf of all of the Etihad family.”
Etihad has cancelled dozens of flights and asked some staff to bring forward paid leave as it tackles a collapse in global travel demand.
There have been 220,000 cases of the new coronavirus worldwide, with more than 9,000 deaths.
“These are unprecedented times,” Douglas said in the video.
Watch the whole video below:
“We are going to go absolutely out of our way to make sure that we can reassure you… on behalf of all of the Etihad family.”— Etihad (@etihad) March 20, 2020
Group CEO Tony Douglas shares an update on Etihad's continuing efforts. pic.twitter.com/JZ3jWjHbDX
The new service gives guests the freedom to delay their travel plans by permitting a free cancellation, with Etihad offering the original value of their booking to be used as credit towards their next trip.
As the situation around the novel Covid-19 continues to evolve, these new measures will provide maximum flexibility to ensure guests that need to travel can do so safely and conveniently.
Robin Kamark, chief commercial officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “In these unprecedented times, we understand that some of our guests are either unable to, or choose not to travel and it is our responsibility to help them as much as possible.
“Now, more than ever, there is a global effort to care for one another and halt the spread of Covid-19 and under these challenging circumstances.
“Etihad Credit is our way of helping to relieve some of the unnecessary burden many of our customers are facing.”
Etihad Credit is available for all guests who have booked to travel before June 30th.
Guests have until September 30th to rebook their trip, for travel until December 31st.
The service is available on any ticket, any fare type and to any Etihad destination.
Any fare difference from the original ticket price will be charged.
For guests with essential travel requirements, Etihad is working closely with the World Health Organisation, the ministry of health and prevention of the United Arab Emirates, and IATA, as well as other organisations, to ensure a healthy flying experience.
“The safety of our loyal customers, and of our employees continues to be our utmost priority, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure their wellbeing,” added Kamark.
For all the latest from Breaking Travel News on the coronavirus pandemic, take a look here.