Supreme Court on Sunday was informed by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) that tickets booked by passengers in domestic and international carriers for air travel between March 25 to May 3, 2020 (Lockdown Period), which was the first two phases of lockdown, will be “fully refunded.”
“Non-refund of air tickets booked during lockdown and creation of involuntary credit shell by airlines is a violation of Civil Aviation Requirements and provisions of the Aircraft Rules of 1937,” DGCA told SC.
This applies to domestic and international tickets booked between March 25 and May 3 this year and will have to be refunded immediately.
This comes after the top court asked the center’s views on a PIL seeking a full refund of booked air tickets during the lockdown.
The DGCA also said the passenger can use the credit on any route of choice and should also be able to transfer it to anyone.
“The passenger can transfer the credit shell to any person, and the airlines shall honor such a transfer. The airlines shall devise a mechanism to facilitate such a transfer. By the end of March 2021, the Airlines shall refund cash to the holder of the credit shell,” the DGCA told the Supreme Court.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in its affidavit filed in the top court on Saturday said the refund must be initiated as the airlines were not supposed to book tickets during the first lockdown period.
“There shall be an incentive mechanism to compensate the passenger if there is a delay in consuming the credit shell – from the date of cancellation up to 30th June 2020. The value of credit shell shall be enhanced by 0.5% of the face value (the amount of fare collected) for every month or part thereof between the date of cancellation and 30th June 2020. Thereafter, the value of credit shell shall be enhanced by 0.75% of the face value per month, up to March 2021,” the DGCA said in its affidavit.
Pravasi Legal Cell, an NGO, had gone to the Supreme Court for a full refund of tickets booked during the lockdown.
The top court during the hearing had suggested a credit facility should be given to the passengers for two years.