Friday, September 25, 2020

Credit shell refund facility for flyers who booked tickets directly: DGCA



New Delhi: The Centre on Friday clarified to the Supreme Court that the credit shell scheme shall only be offered to passengers and not to travel agents. The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also cleared that airfare refunds will only be applicable for flights originating in India, both domestic and international bound.

The statement came during a case pertaining to airfare refunds for flights booked during the lockdown. The regulator maintained that refunds will be applicable only for those flights that originate in India (whether domestic or international) and there cannot be a refund for flights originating outside India, regardless of national or international carriers.

"The travel agent, if any, involved in the purchase of any ticket on behalf of any passenger remains only a via-media, leaving the principal contract between the airlines and the passenger only, which is the only recognised mode under DGCA regulations," the Centre told the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah.

The court had sought a response from the Centre as to whether the facility of credit shells could apply to tickets booked through Travel Agents.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had earlier apprised the bench that the Centre, after a meeting with all the airlines and stakeholders, has come with a detailed proposal. The proposal includes a full refund for all tickets (Domestic, International, and foreign carriers) booked between March 25 and May 3.

While airlines like SpiceJet, IndiGo, and GoAir said that they largely agree with the stand of the government, the DGCA in its affidavit had also stated that air passengers who booked their tickets during the lockdown will get an immediate and full refund from the airlines. “For all the other cases, the airlines shall make all endeavours to refund the collected amount to the passenger within 15 days,” it stated.

25/09/20 Business Standard

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