Emirates has confirmed its ultra-luxury retreat in the NSW Greater Blue Mountains, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, will remain closed until February as a precautionary response to Australia’s devastating bushfire this summer.
The resort has been closed since the start of the month, with all guests, staff and animals evacuated from the resort to ensure their safety, the airline said.
“Safety is of the utmost importance to us, whether onboard or on the ground and is why we have also taken the decision to close Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley until further notice. We take the situation very seriously and will be closely monitoring any developments,” Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort has told LATTE that there is however “no immediate danger or potential bushfire concern in and around Wolgan Valley”.
On the resort’s website, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley says it has continued to liaise closely with the NSW Rural Fire Service in recent weeks, working hard to control the fire activity in and around Wolgan Valley.
“We recognise and thank them for their incredible efforts. While the immediate danger has passed and the Resort structures have not been impacted, the landscape and hiking trails around the resort are currently undergoing some necessary remedial works in preparation for us to begin welcoming guests again. Safety of guests and colleagues remains our top priority,” the resort’s portal states.
“We are happy to confirm that Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley will resume normal operations on 01 February 2020.”
Emirates has also announced its contributions to bushfire relief in Australia. The airline will be donating 10% of all EmiratesRED sales on every flight from today [Friday 17 January] until 16 February 2020 and matching this dollar-for-dollar. The proceeds will go towards the recovery and rebuilding efforts taking place in the communities affected across Australia.
“We are deeply saddened by the bushfires in Australia and the impact they have had on families, communities, wildlife and businesses across the country. There’s been an outpouring of support from all over the world for Australia, including from the UAE. At Emirates we’d like to do our part not only through monetary contributions, but also to use our global reach to help to maintain awareness and support, and to drive donations for recovery and rebuilding efforts,” Sir Tim remarked.
“Emirates remains committed to Australia and its people who have welcomed us into their home for over 20 years. We will be working closely with relevant organisations to contribute funds to those who need it most. Emirates is also waiving flight change fees for residents affected by the fires, many of whom we know have had their lives greatly impacted already.”
The airline is also supporting its workforce, which includes more than 1,000 Australians, on other employee-led fund-raising initiatives to contribute to the bushfire relief efforts.
Emirates has strong ties with Australia, maintaining several sponsorships within Australia that play major roles in culture and society, including being the Associate Partner of the Australian Open Tennis as well as the Major Partner of the Adelaide Festival.
The airline also has partnerships with several local suppliers including Yarra Valley Dairy, Brasserie Bread and several wineries across Australia, all served onboard its aircraft globally.
In addition to fundraising, Emirates has been waiving flight change fees for Australian residents who have been affected by the bushfires across the country. The waiver will apply to all residents travelling to or from Australia. Those affected by the bushfires, and who would like more information on how to change their travel booked on Emirates, are encouraged to visit the Emirates website or contact 1300 303 777.
The iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building was lit up on Wednesday night in a display of the UAE’s support for Australia following the recent bush fires (pictured right). For more information on the various initiatives in the UAE, check out the #MatesHelpMates campaign hashtag on social media.