Japan Airlines (JAL) has followed the likes of Emirates and Virgin Atlantic in announcing its own JAL COVID-19 insurance coverage up to €150,000 for any customer who contracts the virus on their travels.
Coverage is automatically applied free of charge to any passenger who flies on an international JAL flight between 23 December 2020 and 30 June 2021.
A number of airlines have jumped on the trend of providing free health insurance for COVID-related health costs should passengers contract the virus while travelling, in an effort to ease the minds of nervous travellers.
JAL’s FlySafe program, the first of its kind for a Japanese carrier, hopes to reassure and support prospective passengers travelling amid the current global pandemic.
The insurance offering is provided by Allianz Travel and covers medical and testing costs up to €150,000, as well as additional provisions for costs related to self-isolation and repatriation efforts, for JAL passengers who test positive for COVID-19 while travelling.
Self-isolation or quarantine costs up to €100 per day will also be covered for those who test positive for COVID while travelling.
The airline has set up a 24-hour hotline, provided in both English and Japanese, for customers seeking information or exhibiting COVID symptoms while on their travels.
The cover period begins when the passengers undertake their first flight on JAL, and ends 31 days later, or when they touch down in their country of residence, whichever comes earlier.
Hideo Ninomiya, managing executive officer of passenger sales, Japan Airlines, said, “As international flights gradually return to service, the JAL Group has implemented key measures against COVID-19 to provide customers a safe and secure travel experience.
“While it may take time to welcome back customers on a global scale, we hope this coverage with Allianz Travel will provide reassurance to those that need to travel today.”
Meanwhile, Patricia Moon, CEO of AWP Japan Co and member of the Allianz Partners Group, said, “AWP Japan is very proud to support JAL in this service. Our assistance teams will help provide peace of mind to JAL’s passengers in these challenging times.
“Allianz Travel is the specialised travel-related insurance and services brand from Allianz Partners, and we will leverage our vast experience in emergency assistance to travellers and our global medical network to support passengers affected by COVID-19.”
It follows recent news that Emirates has expanded its own offering for COVID-19 related insurance to include “multi-risk” travel cover for all passengers from 1 December.
Emirates’ new expanded insurance offering is provided by AIG Travel, and covers any emergency medical expenses up to US$500,000, trip cancellation and curtailment expenses, as well as loss of baggage or belongings.
The coverage automatically applies to any customers who purchase a ticket on an Emirates flight from 1 December, including codeshare flights, and customers are under no obligation to utilise this cover.
Cover also includes provisions for personal accidents that occurred during travel, winter sports cover, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations or advisories.
Emirates’ new insurance offering is a massive step-up from the original COVID-19 insurance offered by the UAE-based carrier, first revealed in July.
At that time, Emirates announced that it would cover its customers’ medical and quarantine expenses, totalling up to almost $250,000, should a passenger fall ill with COVID-19 while travelling overseas.
The new Emirates offering exceeds any other similar offerings currently on the market, after being upped by Virgin Atlantic shortly after its initial announcement.
In August, Virgin Atlantic introduced its own COVID-19 travel insurance offering that exceeded that of Emirates, announced just a month before it, despite Virgin struggling to keep afloat.