The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to clarify by Friday the modalities of refund of air tickets to be made to the passengers and travel agents because of cancellation of flights during the Covid-19 induced lockdown period.
In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, O.K. Gupta, Director, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said for the domestic airlines if the tickets were booked directly with the airline or through an agent, during the first lockdown period, 25 March- 14 April, the journeys that were undertaken in both periods, 25 March – 3 May, shall be fully refunded by the airlines immediately.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said that it is only concerned with refund and non-refund of money for tickets booked during the lockdown period.
It was a hearing regarding the issue of cancellation of flights due to Covid-19 induced lockdown which had commenced from March 25. Senior Advocate Sanjay Hedge said that in case the flights fly out of the country, but then the affidavit filed by the DGPA will be applicable.
The affidavit says that if the passenger in whose name the ticket is booked, does not utilise the credit till 31 March 2021, then the airline will have to refund the amount with interest to the agent from whose account the ticket was booked. This situation doesn’t look good for airlines who are already going through severe losses due to the reduction in travel.